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SELECTBIO Conferences The RNA Summit: Research, Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Jonathan Watts's Biography

Jonathan Watts, Associate Professor, RNA Therapeutics Institute, UMass Medical School

Jon received his BSc from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, winning the University Medal in Chemistry and conducting work in carbohydrate synthesis with Professor Bruce Grindley. After a year in the non-profit sector in Cote d’Ivoire, Jon returned to science and to Canada and received his PhD for work done with Professor Masad Damha at McGill University. His doctoral work included the development of two new oligonucleotide analogues, an exploration of why 2'-fluorinated oligonucleotides show such high binding affinity, and studies on the chemical modification of ASOs and siRNAs. He then moved to Professor David Corey's lab (at UT Southwestern) for postdoctoral studies, where his work included the chemical modification of promoter-targeted duplex RNAs and the use of oligonucleotide-oligospermine conjugates as antisense and antigene oligonucleotides. In 2012 he started his independent group at the University of Southampton, UK, where he received the 2013 Young Investigator Award from the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society and the 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Award for teaching. In summer 2015 he was recruited to the RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Medical School, where he is associate professor. The Watts Group is developing new approaches in the medicinal chemistry of several classes of oligonucleotides, along with novel chemical tools for next generation sequencing approaches.

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Modification, Multimerization, and New Directions in Therapeutic Oligonucleotides

Monday, 13 November 2017 at 17:00

Add to Calendar ▼2017-11-13 17:00:002017-11-13 18:00:00Europe/LondonModification, Multimerization, and New Directions in Therapeutic OligonucleotidesThe RNA Summit: Research, Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Boston, USABoston,

Current design principles of therapeutic oligonucleotides can be categorized into three “dimensions,” based on mechanism (e.g., RNA interference, RNase H-mediated silencing, or splice switching), oligonucleotide chemistry (modification of phosphates, sugars, and nucleobases), and bioactive conjugates (i.e., ligands that target a tissue of interest or improve pharmacokinetic properties). We will present evidence that oligonucleotide multimerization may constitute a fourth dimension of oligonucleotide design that influences both potency and tissue distribution in vivo.  We will describe synthetic methods to access these multimeric structures as well as in vivo gene silencing data.

Add to Calendar ▼2017-11-13 00:00:002017-11-14 00:00:00Europe/LondonThe RNA Summit: Research, Diagnostics and TherapeuticsThe RNA Summit: Research, Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Boston, USABoston,