About the talk
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines were developed at an unprecedented pace. A number of these vaccines relied on relatively new technologies, such as adenoviral particles, or synthetic messenger RNA. These mRNA vaccines were received with great attention, surprise and scepticism by the non-scientific public due to their seemingly sudden emergence. However, mRNA was not chosen arbitrarily as a vector but based on the results and experiences gained in four decades of intense research and development. In his talk, Dr Beissert will review the history of synthetic mRNA, highlight key advancements in RNA optimisation and major areas of its application. Based on his research and development work at TRON, Dr Beissert will also talk about the self-amplifying RNA, which promises to reduce the RNA dose required for protective immunisation and better preparedness against future pandemics.
Dr Tim Beissert is heading the Vectors, Immune and Gene Therapy Development at TRON – Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. At TRON, he is also leading a project on the improvement and development of self-amplifying RNA. Dr Beissert has worked with Ugur Sahin's group at the University Clinic in Mainz, Germany to develop a method for induced pluripotent stem cell generation through mRNA transfection.
Dr Beissert earned his PhD from the University Clinic Frankfurt, Germany followed by his post-doc research in haematology with a focus on Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukaemia.
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