Event date:
Dec 6 2023 4:00 pm

Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine 2023 – Enabling mRNA therapeutics.

Dr. Amir Faisal, Associate Professor Department of Life Sciences
Deans Smart Lab, 4th Floor SBASSE Building LUMS
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a critical macromolecule that contains DNA-coded information for protein synthesis, thus acting as an intermediary in the flow of genetic information from DNA to Proteins. The use of mRNA to express proteins for therapeutic purposes, although long envisioned, has not been successful due to the activation of innate immune response. The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, who discovered mRNA modifications that render it non-immunogenic, thereby enabling the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. This talk for the general audience will introduce them to the basic science behind this impactful discovery and its broader applications beyond COVID-19.

Dr. Amir Faisal received his PhD in Cell Biology from Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research/University of Basel, Switzerland in 2004. During his PhD he identified novel roles for Shc protein, an important adaptor downstream of tyrosine kinases, in insulin signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization. He received his first postdoctoral training (2004-2008) in Protein Phosphorylation Laboratory at London Research Institute where he discovered that another adaptor protein, MyD88, couples Protein Kinase C epsilon to Toll like receptors during innate immunity. From 2008 to 2014, he worked at Cancer Therapeutics Unit of Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton first as postdoctoral fellow and later as senior scientist. He played an important role in progression of several drug discovery projects, one of which resulted in discovery of a pre-clinical development candidate that will undergo phase I clinical trials in 2016. After joining LUMS in August 2014, he has been establishing a cancer therapeutics lab at SBASSE.

Learn more at: http://biolabs.lums.edu.pk/cancer