In the early 2000’s, a group of University of Michigan faculty around Carol Fierke, David Engelke and Nils Walter with common interests in RNA took the initiative to come together, share resources and advise one another’s students in the form of monthly RNA Supergroup meetings. This small grassroots effort slowly evolved and expanded until 2015, when several members tapped into M│cubed, a U-M program designed to stimulate innovative research and scholarship by distributing seed funding in real-time to faculty-led, multi-unit teams.
Seven RNA-related “Mcubes” first assembled into a “block” during MCubed 2.0, providing a seed for what soon became the Center for RNA Biomedicine.
ln the fall of 2015, Dr. Eva Feldman, then Director of the University of Michigan A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, recognized the power of RNA to help us understand and treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases. With support from the Taubman Institute, the Center for RNA Biomedicine was launched through its first annual symposium on March 25, 2016. Keynote speakers including Nobel Laureates Phillip Sharp (1993) and Craig Mello (2006) helped increase visibility, quickly making us the largest organized RNA research and medicine community in the country and perhaps in the world.
In 2019, the Center was awarded a competitive 5-year Tier-1 grant from the University of Michigan Biosciences Initiative, opening two novel research cores in transcriptome analysis and single molecule imaging, and charged with recruiting five top faculty and building our community to further boost RNA biomedicine at the University of Michigan.
Read in The Record.
Center for RNA Biomedicine’s video from the 2016 inaugural symposium
as introduced by U-M President Mark S. Schlissel.