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Lecture One – The RNA Platform: The Breadth of Possibility Beyond mRNA

November 10, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am AEDT

View Series 2: Lecture One recording below


Based on the demand and success of the first lecture series, mRNA Victoria and BioMelbourne Network, are pleased to host a second series of four lectures beginning in November 2023 for the Victorian RNA community.
These lectures present an opportunity for global leading specialists in the RNA field to share their knowledge with the local RNA community. The accompanying networking sessions are an opportunity to foster connections between researchers, industry and government to build a connected and collaborative ecosystem in Victoria.

Explore Series 1 lectures and recordings here

Series 2 comprises four lectures:

Lecture One: The RNA Platform: The Breadth of Possibility Beyond mRNA | Friday 10 November 2023, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Two: Details tbc | Tuesday 20 February 2024, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Three: Details tbc | Thursday 14 March 2024, 8:00am – 11:00am
Lecture Four: Details tbc | Tuesday 28 May 2024, 8:00am – 11:00am

SERIES 2 | LECTURE ONE | The RNA Platform: The Breadth of Possibility Beyond mRNA

The first lecture in Series 2 focuses on the RNA platform and its different modalities beyond mRNA.RNA is an emerging global modality that promises treatments for previously ‘undruggable’ diseases. While the COVID pandemic proved the efficacy of mRNA vaccines, RNA as a platform technology has broader implications across multiple modalities such as mRNA, anti-sense oligonucleotides, short-interfering RNA, self-amplifying RNA, circular RNA and aptamers. It can also be used to encode other functional biological molecules such as monoclonal antibodies and cytokines.This lecture will provide an insight into the breadth of the RNA platform potential and the flexibility it provides to target a range of disease types.Lecture One will include presentations from three speakers followed by a panel and Q&A discussion.Important note: This event will be recorded but not live streamed. Attendance is in-person only

Series 2: Lecture One event recording:

Video timestamps:

0.09 Welcome and opening remarks | Valentina Tan, Research and Industry Development Officer, mRNA Victoria
5.24 Series 2 Lecture One Introduction | Associate Professor Misty Jenkins AO, Laboratory Head, Immunology Division, WEHI
9.01 | Dr Vi Wickramasinghe, Head, RNA Biology and Cancer Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
26.49 | Dr Christopher Wraight, CEO and Director, RAGE Biotech
47.38 | Professor Marco Herold, Chief Executive Officer, Olivia Newtown John Cancer Research Institute
1.09.15 | Panel and Q&A

About mRNA Victoria

mRNA Victoria is responsible for leading the Victorian Government’s commitment to establish a world-class mRNA and RNA industry in Victoria, by supporting supply chain, research and development for pre and clinical research, commercialisation and manufacturing investments.Its role is to identify key capabilities, gaps, opportunities and lead the Victorian Government’s engagement, investment and partnerships with domestic and international companies, researchers and stakeholders to build RNA capability.

This lecture series is delivered in partnership with mRNA Victoria and the State Government of Victoria




Associate Professor Misty Jenkins AO, Laboratory Head, Immunology Division, WEHI

Misty Jenkins is a NHMRC fellow and laboratory head in the Immunology Division at WEHI. Misty leads the immunotherapy program within the Brain Cancer Centre and is dedicated to discovering novel immunotherapy targets for high grade gliomas in adults and children. Her research focusses on the development of novel chimeric antigen receptor T cells for brain cancer. Her group also uses cutting edge two-photon microscopy combined with mouse models of brain cancer to investigate the tumour microenvironment and uncover unique biology of brain tumours.

Misty has a PhD in Immunology with Laureate Peter Doherty and Steve Turner, from The University of Melbourne, followed by postdoctoral positions at The Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, with Gillian Griffiths, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, with Joe Trapani.

She was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2023 for distinguished service to medical science in Immunology, the support of women in STEM, and to the Indigenous community.

Professor Marco Herold, Chief Executive Officer, Olivia Newtown John Cancer Research Institute

Prof Marco Herold is the Chief Executive Officer of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) and an active researcher. Prof Herold’s research uses advanced genome wide CRISPR screening, including gene activation and base editing in vitro and in vivo, to identify critical gene targets required for the development and sustained growth of cancer cells.

Prof Herold completed his PhD and postdoctoral studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany, training in cell death research and mouse genetics. During this time, he worked with the German Pharma Company Taconic Artemis developing methods to establish novel pre-clinical models of disease.

In 2008, Prof Herold moved to Australia to join WEHI as the Laboratory Head in the Blood Cells and Blood Cancer Division and Head of the Melbourne Genome Editing Centre (MAGEC).

Since joining ONJCRI in 2023, Prof Herold is focused on fostering collaborations both within ONJCRI and with external entities while capitalising on existing strengths, assets, and successes of ONJCRI.

Dr Vi Wickramasinghe, Head, RNA Biology and Cancer Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Vi Wickramasinghe is an internationally recognised leader in RNA biology, specifically in RNA export and how it is altered in cancer. These findings have launched a new field in RNA Biology with significant translational potential.

In recognition of the impact of his research, Nature Reviews Cancer and Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology have commissioned him to write reviews. He was recently awarded the inaugural Moderna Australia Fellowship.

He has established, co-leads and manages several programs of collaborative research with senior researchers, both within and outside of Peter Mac that encompass both fundamental medical research and industry collaborations.

He hopes to use his laboratory’s ground-breaking research in RNA transport to develop the first in class nuclear mRNA targeting therapies to treat cancer.

Dr Christopher Wraight, CEO and Director, RAGE Biotech

Christopher has broad experience in early-stage pharmaceutical R&D and commercialisation in both private equity funded and listed companies.

He was Research Director and a Technology Founder at Antisense Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ANP), a satellite company of RNA therapeutics leader Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and has guided RNA-targeting drugs from research through to the clinic and commercial exit.

In previous CEO roles he navigated a novel therapeutic entity (NTE) nasal spray product from concept through Phase 1b clinical trials and exit in 5 years (Otifex), and built a team and company structure that produced the most advanced direct Myc inhibitor for cancer (MycRx).

Christopher has a PhD in Biochemistry and an MBA specialising in Technology Management. He was a Guest Scientist and Humboldt Fellow at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, and in 2008 he received the Advance BioBusiness Award for leadership in the Australian Life Sciences sector.


November 10, 2023
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Free - $85
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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