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Sci-Fi Series: Is RNA the answer to cancer?

  • - (AEST)

This event is now being presented online. 

Until recently most people had never heard of RNA.  

If DNA is the hardware of life, then RNA is the software that allows it to operate. mRNA is well-known as the key ingredient in COVID-19 vaccines. But RNA technology could also play an important role in how we treat other conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and schizophrenia. 

UNSW’s RNA Institute will conduct pre-clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 and cancer using RNA-based therapeutics manufactured in NSW. A pilot-scale production of siRNA for use in RNA-based therapeutics is expected to be conducted in the next few months. siRNA are small sequences of genetic code that can interfere with genes that are driving cancer growth and survival. These siRNA can be delivered into the body and target cancerous cells. 

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the advancement of RNA technologies, including how it might combine with other drugs in the fight against hard-to-treat cancers. 

Led by Tegan Taylor, Health and Science reporter for the ABC, hear from panellists

  • Professor Palli Thordarson, Director of the UNSW RNA Institute;
  • Conjoint Professor Maria Kavallaris AM, Head of Translational Cancer NanoMedicine Theme and UNSW Children's Cancer Institute; and
  • Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll, Team Leader at Children’s Cancer Institute and Conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW Medicine & Health. Josh is a survivor of childhood cancer and understands better than most the importance of finding new cures and treatments for this most devastating of childhood diseases.

The format is now via live-stream and is an ‘in conversation’ style panel with the host and 3 panellists, and will run for 40 minutes, followed by a 15-minute audience Q&A.

This event is presented online by UNSW Science, UNSW RNA Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health as part of National Science Week.