RNA & the Future of Medicine

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This symposium is sold out but the public forum is open for virtual attendance by registering here

The Gairdner Foundation and McGill University present RNA & the Future of Medicine featuring guest speaker Pieter Cullis, 2022 Canada Gairdner International Award laureate.

The power of combining genomics with RNA technology is exemplified by the remarkable and rapid success of mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. We are at the beginning of a revolution that will enable the rapid, low-cost development of genome-guided RNA-based medicines for a wide spectrum of diseases, such as those caused by emerging viruses that threaten our society with pandemics and their associated catastrophic health and economic consequences, high-burden diseases such as cancer, which is the number one cause of death in Canada, and rare genetic disorders that are incurable or prohibitively expensive to treat.

McGill University recently founded two inter-disciplinary institutes, the McGill Centre for RNA Sciences, and the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Institute of Genomic Medicine with the vocation to match the potential of personalized medicine with the flexibility and speed promised by RNA therapeutics. At the forefront of this meeting will be collaborating RNA academic poles in Quebec and Canada that are part of several ongoing projects and proposals, but most prominently with leading industrial partners.

Free admission, must register.


9:00 – 9:30         Opening remarks (Thomas Duchaine, Philippe Gros, Mark Lathrop)

9:30 – 11:45         Plenary session 1: Canadians in RNA innovation

Chair: Mark Lathrop

Keynote: Pieter Cullis

Speakers: Hanadi Sleiman, Mohamad-Gabriel Alameh, Yann Joly 

11:45 – 13:30        Lunch and early posters @ Mezzanine 6th floor McIntyre

13:30 –16:00        Plenary Session 2: Chemistry in RNA therapeutics

Chair: Masad Damha

Keynote: Anastasia Khvorova

Speakers: Andrea Rentmeister, Andrea Kasinski, Selena M. Sagan

16:00 – 19:00      Poster session, light bites dinner and social

19:00 – 20:30     Public Discussion Panel (Open to Media and Public): The Future of Medicine: Beyond mRNA vaccines

Panel discussion with Yann Joly, Anastasia Khvorova, Mohamad-Gabriel Alameh and John Androsavich

In-person attendance is at capacity. Livestream available by registering here

18:00 – 19:30      Poster session, Light bites & Social

9:00 – 11:30         Plenary Session 3: Emerging Industries in RNA & Genome medicine

Chair: Jiannis Ragoussis

Keynote: Tony De Fougerolles

Speakers: Quin Wills, John Androsavich, Imed Gallouzi, Eric Lecuyer

11:40 – 13:00        Lunch and poster session @ Mezzanine 6th floor McIntyre

13:00 – 11:30        Plenary Session 4: RNA & Genomics I

Chair: Jörg Fritz

Keynote: Nahum Sonenberg

Speakers: Michelle Scott, Hamed Najafabadi, Miten Jain

15:30 – 16:00       Coffee break

16:00 – 17:45       Plenary Session 5: RNA& Genomics II

Chair: Maria Vera Ugalde

Speakers: Yutaka Suzuki, David Langlais, Eric Lecuyer


Howard Palmer Amphitheatre & 6th floor Mezzanine, 3655 promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, QC, H3G 1Y6, CA