12 October - 13 October 2021

RNA as a target for the life sciences

Organised by:

SCI’s Fine Chemicals Group

Online webinar (2 consecutive afternoons)

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RNA as a target for small molecules is a rapidly evolving topic of major relevance to modern drug discovery and agrochemical science. Moving beyond the established targets of proteins and DNA, it is increasingly clear that RNA is also adept at binding potential pharmacophores and this contemporary topic is the primary focus of our event.  


With the isolation of reverse transcriptases it became apparent that RNA was not simply a passive intermediate in biological function, and its relevance for the treatment of disease has since become clear. The first antisense oligonucleotide that modified mRNA expression was approved in 1998 and since the 2006 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering the mechanism of RNA interference only three years earlier, interest in small interfering RNA as a treatment has been a major field of research with the first drug approval in 2018. It is also now increasingly clear it is feasible to target RNA with small molecules, with numerous start-ups established and a plethora of collaborations with global leaders in the Life Sciences announced in recent years. Here, we are inviting leading experts from these organisations to discuss current and future aspects of this field. 


Bringing together contemporary chemical biology and established small molecule research, this event is of significant interest to students and academics in chemistry, biology and pharmacy as well as the established pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors and the broader biotech community. 


The full programme will be announced in due course.

Confirmed speakers:

Plenary: Prof Matthew Disney, Scripps Research and Expansion Therapeutics
Plenary: Prof Kevin Weeks, UNC-Chapel Hill and Ribometrix



Delegate fees will be confirmed in due course.

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Organising committee

Karl Collins, SCI / Bayer
Fred Hancock, SCI
Silvia Bonomo, Charles River Laboratories
Daniel Jones, SCI / Charles River Laboratories
Fiona Laraman, SCI / AstraZeneca
Caroline Low, SCI / Google DeepMind
Jason Tierney, SCI / Anima Biotech 

Conference team
Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561
Email: conferences@soci.org