10/7/2021 Interdisciplinary Science Seminar

Speaker: Nicholas J. Magazine, Louisiana State University

Title: SiRNA Targeting TCRb: A Proposed Therapy for the Treatment of Autoimmunity

Abstract: As of 2018, the United States National Institutes of Health estimate that over half a billion people worldwide are affected by autoimmune disorders. Though these conditions are prevalent, treatment options remain relatively poor, relying primarily on various forms of immunosuppression which carry potentially severe side effects and often lose effectiveness over time. Given this, new forms of therapy are needed. To this end, we have developed methods for the creation of small-interfering RNA (siRNA) for hypervariable regions of the T-cell receptor β-chain gene (TCRb) as a highly targeted, novel means of therapy for the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

This talk will review the general mechanism by which autoimmune diseases occur and discuss the pros and cons of conventional pharmaceutical therapies as they pertain to autoimmune disease treatment. I will then examine the rational and design methodology for the proposed siRNA therapy and how it contrasts with contemporary methods for the treatment of these conditions. Additionally, the talk will compare the efficacy of multiple design strategies for such molecules by comparison over several metrics and discuss how this will be guiding future research.

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