TOPIC

Bacteria-based RNAi Technology Platform for Disease Gene Discovery and Therapy

SPEAKER

Dr Linfeng Huang,
Assistant Professor,
Department of Biomedical Sciences (BTC)

Abstract

Short interfering RNA (siRNA) can ‘silence’ gene expressions through a natural process called RNA interference (RNAi). siRNAs can be designed to precisely silence any gene and siRNA drugs, targeting disease causing genes, are in active clinical development.

We invented the world’s first and only bioprocess-based method for producing highly potent and specific siRNAs in bacteria (named “pro-siRNA”, www.pro-siRNA.com). pro-siRNAs are particularly suitable for targeting the more variable cancer causing genes and viral genes. Our method is cost-effective and easily adaptable to an industry setting for large-scale siRNA productions.

We are testing the application of using pro-siRNAs as RNAi-based precision medicines for treating important diseases like Ebola and cancers. We also established a pro-siRNA-based gene functional screen technology, which could become a “personalized” tool for the identification of disease causing genes and drug targets. Our technology could have a wide range of applications in biomedical research, precision medicine, and even agriculture.