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NIH invites press to discuss new investments in RNA research

Media are invited to attend an expert panel discussion on current and future investments in RNA research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will convene researchers who are working on the latest RNA research efforts, including methods for sequencing RNA and detecting RNA modifications. Both in-person and virtual participation is available. 

RNA sequencing and the detection of RNA modifications have recently gained significant attention in the genomics community, punctuated by a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) outlining a roadmap for more completely studying and cataloging RNA and its modifications.

By sequencing RNA, scientists can learn about how cells function, develop and respond to their environments. The analysis of RNA is also central to some emerging tools in medicine, including using RNA as a biomarker, or indicator, of disease. Tests that look at RNA might help physicians detect a wide range of diseases, from tuberculosis to some cancers, and be simpler and less invasive than other options. RNA-based therapeutics are also being developed and trialed as targeted treatments for specific diseases. Continued research to understand the biology of RNA, including its many modifications, will further aid these medically important advances.

The panel will discuss and answer questions about

  • New studies to advance understanding of RNA biology and the development of RNA-based technologies, including those being funded by $15.4M for RNA research recently announced by NIH and the National Science Foundation.
  • Emerging techniques, laboratory tools, computational analyses and strategic approaches that are being used to gain important new insights into RNA. Developments include improving RNA sequencing, RNA modifications, RNA synthesis and RNA-based therapeutics.
  • Policy, workforce and infrastructure needs to support sequencing and analysis of RNA modifications.
  • The NASEM report’s call for more development of tech and infrastructure to allow for the complete sequencing of RNA and all of its modifications in any cell or organisms.

Press Conference Details

When: May 30, 2024, 10:00 - 11:00 AM ET

What: Press Conference to announce new RNA research

Research Moderator: Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., NHGRI Director

Where: Zoom Webinar and Building 4B31 Conference Room, NIH Campus

RSVP: NHGRIPressOffice@nih.gov


RNA experts will discuss the recently released NASEM report and what it means for the future of RNA research and genomics.

  • Ian Nova, Ph.D.
    Program Director, NHGRI Division of Genome Sciences

  • Carolyn Hutter, Ph.D.
    Director, NHGRI Division of Genome Sciences

  • Vivian Cheung, Ph.D.
    Professor, Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan

  • Kate Meyer, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Duke University School of Medicine

  • Fred Tyson, Ph.D.
    Program Director, NIEHS Genes, Environment, and Health Branch


The NASEM report includes a call for prioritization of efforts to develop the technologies and infrastructure to allow for complete sequencing of RNA and all its modifications in any cell or organisms. This includes identification of all chemical modifications of RNA molecules, which have been very difficult to study. The report emphasizes the large impact that such an investment would have on biology and medicine. The proposed advances in RNA technologies and research would greatly improve understanding about the interplay of RNA biology and human health, disease and treatments. 

The report was funded in part by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH.

Questions? Email: NHGRIPressOffice@nih.gov

About NHGRI and NIH

About the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI): At NHGRI, we are focused on advances in genomics research. Building on our leadership role in the initial sequencing of the human genome, we collaborate with the world's scientific and medical communities to enhance genomic technologies that accelerate breakthroughs and improve lives. By empowering and expanding the field of genomics, we can benefit all of humankind. For more information about NHGRI and its programs, visit www.genome.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Press Contact

NHGRI Press Office
Email: nhgripressoffice@mail.nih.gov
Phone: (301) 402-0911

Last updated: May 22, 2024