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Targeting MicroRNAs to Treat Cancer

The New York Academy of Sciences will bring together researchers at an upcoming symposium to explore the role of miRNAs, their disease-treating potential, and their translation into promising drug candidates.

Published July 05, 2016

New York, NY, July 5, 2016 — On July 13, the New York Academy of Sciences will present a symposium on MicroRNAs: A Gene Silencing Mechanism with Therapeutic Implications. Researchers from around the country will come together to present up-to-date basic, translational, and clinical research addressing the biology of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their promise as a therapeutic target, particularly in the field of oncology.

These small single-stranded RNAs regulate numerous proteins involved in the pathogenesis and progression of various diseases. miRNAs have been shown to "silence" gene transcription, as well as direct mRNA destabilization and cleavage, further impacting translation of proteins involved in critical cell signaling pathways.

"MicroRNAs have the ability to interfere with multiple disease-promoting signal transduction pathways. Because many diseases are linked to aberrant expression of miRNAs, the development and use of miRNA-based therapies holds great potential," said Sonya Dougal, PhD, Director of Life Sciences Discussion Groups, The New York Academy of Sciences.

This symposium will bring together investigators who have led the field in describing what miRNAs do and their potential in treating diseases, as well as those who are translating these findings into promising drug candidates, some of which have already advanced into early stage clinical trials. David P. Bartel, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give the keynote talk.

"MicroRNAs have shown exciting potential as an entirely new approach to targeting disease-causing proteins and pathways," commented Paul Lammers, MD, MSc, President and CEO of Mirna Therapeutics, a symposium sponsor. "We're extremely pleased to support this symposium and advance the scientific understanding and potential of MicroRNAs to treat cancers and other diseases."

For media inquiries, including requests for press passes, contact Diana Friedman (+1-212-298-8645 or

About The New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at


Marie Gentile
Director, Communications