University of California Riverside Opens RNA Biology and Technology Center

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

β€’ 

May 17, 2022

 β€’ 

Recognizing the importance of RNA in modern biology and biomedicine, the University of California Riverside will establish Center for RNA Biology and Medicine, which now houses more than 30 researchers from across campus. The center’s director is Sika Zheng, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the School of Medicine.Β 

All living cells contain ribonucleic acid or RNA. It is, nonetheless, critical for fundamental cell biology, including coding, decoding, regulating, and expressing genes, as well as identifying human illness. RNA is used by the body to build cells, respond to immunological threats, and transfer amino acids between cells.

Q & A Session With Prof. Sika Zheng

Following is a Q&A with Professor Zheng:

Q1. Why did you decide to start this center, and why did you choose to specialize in RNA?

Ans: In modern biology and medicine, RNA biology has become one of the most prominent fields. Cutting-edge developments in RNA biology and technology are pushing medicine and our knowledge of nature to new heights. We can use CRISPR to change the genome and fix disease-causing mutations. We’ve seen the potency of mRNA vaccines, a novel type of vaccine technology, in treating SARS-CoV-2 viral infection during the last two years. They are most likely merely the tip of the iceberg of RNA’s revolutionary potential. Several properties enhance RNA’s transforming capacity. Several properties enhance RNA’s transforming capacity. 

First, the primary link between genotypes and phenotypes, RNA is an obvious target for biological alteration. 

Second, because RNA is so ubiquitous, any breakthrough use will spread across the board, having a far-reaching influence. 

Third, RNA comprises only four simple nucleotides, making it challenging to decode in biology but much easier to write and read from an experimental and engineering standpoint. 

Once we decode the RNA codes and utilize RNA-based techniques, RNA has nearly limitless potential to alter health and society.

Q2. Why is this a good time for UCR to open this center?

Ans: The Center for RNA Biology and Medicine fosters a lively, dynamic research environment that capitalizes on UCR’s deep and unique capabilities in RNA research while also bridging the gap between scientific discovery and medical and industrial applications. We might easily fall into our silo because each lab’s RNA study at UCR is diverse. When we bring individuals together, though, the difference becomes a strength. By linking and supporting teams of researchers from various fields within RNA, spanning several UCR departments, I hope the center to be the platform and focal point for nucleating researchers, stimulating partnerships, forming synergies, and facilitating interdisciplinary connections. And, if it hasn’t been done before, the ideal moment to do something nice is now.

Q3. What distinguishes this center from similar facilities elsewhere?

Ans: There are multiple RNA centers around the country, each with its unique strengths and successes. Our center is brand new and has yet to chart its course. Our center investigators and trainees will make a difference. I view the center as a catalyst for our members’ success in addressing today’s and tomorrow’s RNA-centric industrial, biological, and therapeutic demands. I’m also establishing a new objective for the center: celebrating good research and the scientists who make it. Any other center has not specifically brought this about, but we will create the framework.

RNA is a single-stranded relative of double-stranded DNA that is less well recognized. The Center for RNA Biology is established to help researchers practice and experiment with new RNA-based demands. It is an all-in-one place for searching, experimenting, and addressing new terms in the field.Β 

UC Riverside Ranks Well

In the 2022-23 Center for World University Rankings, University of California Riverside was rated in the top 1.3 percent of universities worldwide. The rankings were announced on Monday, April 25, 2022. The university was placed 249th out of 19,788 institutions. UCR was ranked 81st nationally.

The university plays a vital role in fostering startup culture and commercialization of new technologies in the Inland Empire region. Based in Riverside, CA, SmartBot360, aΒ UCRΒ spin-off company & part ofΒ Riverside ExCITE, lets healthcare companies to create, manage and share AI chatbots. Through its AI-chat bot technology specifically for the healthcare vertical, SmartBot360 wants to reduce the mundane and manual tasks like answering FAQs, making appointments, collecting feedback, sending reminders, or making sale pitches.

Author

  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Connecting you with the best startups, people & events in the Inland Empire.

Related Articles

Weekly Wire RoundUp: $210M Construction Loan, Oak Tree Mountain S . . .

Weekly Wire RoundUp: $210M Construction Loan, Oak Tree Mountain S . . .

https://youtu.be/DKe8nel4E14 The Weekly Wire RoundUp covers all the news stories we published last week. Below you'll find the links to each news article. JPMorgan Chase Gives $210M Construction Loan for Ontario Ranch Business Park: The Ontario Ranch Business Park, a...

Indio-based Startup Helicoid Industries Wins NREL CleanTech Award

Indio-based Startup Helicoid Industries Wins NREL CleanTech Award

At the 2022 NREL Industry Growth Forum (IGF) on April 13–14, 2022, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy presented honors to five leading cleantech companies. Indio (Riverside County) startup Helicoid Industries from...

Stay Up On Startempire News

Access Premium Content

Startempire Wire premium content access is free during the beta period of ourΒ  website.Β  Join during beta and get a grandfathered discount when we launch.

$5 for first month then $15 per month

Get Every Update

Would you like to receive Startempire Wire updates in your inbox? Subscribe below!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow Us

Follow Startempire Wire on other social media channels.

"*" indicates required fields

 
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.