Keynote Lecture

Join us on Tuesday, March 3rd at 5:00 pm in CCIS 1-430 to kick off the conference with Dr. Peter Unrau from SFU.

Title: Using in vitro selection to repopulate the RNA World and develop RNA imaging technologies

Abstract: Early in the evolution of life on this planet, it is thought that RNA and not protein was the dominant biological catalyst. Evidence for this RNA World hypothesis is largely based on the existence of RNA enzymes (ribozymes) such as the ribosome and RNase P that play central roles in modern day protein synthesis. A key assumption of this ‘RNA World’ is that an RNA replicase or RNA dependent RNA polymerase ribozyme must have existed in order to replicate early RNA based genomes. My laboratory has been using in vitro selection to try and generate such a ribozyme from scratch.  I will report on our most recent progress and also discuss recently selected fluorogenic RNA Mango aptamers that are useful for the study of RNA within living cells.