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Public lecture - RNA-based Therapeutic Approaches

Public lecture - RNA-based Therapeutic Approaches
Date & Time
April 21, 2022 (Thursday) | 5-6pm
ZOOM online lecture (
Dr Ying LI
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, HKU

poster of public lecture on Apr 21

RNAs have long been accepted as an intermediate to pass information embedded in DNAs to proteins. About 98% of our genome can be converted into RNAs but less than 2% of these RNAs are known to be used as templates for making proteins. What are the biological functions of those RNAs not dedicated for proteins? 

Accumulating evidence suggests that RNAs play critical roles in cell survival and proliferation. Many human diseases are correlated to dysregulation of RNAs. Different from DNAs, RNAs are much more flexible. Such characteristics of RNAs allow cells to coordinate cellular events efficiently and effectively.

In this talk, Dr Li will give an overview about RNA molecules, followed by a detailed introduction to the history of RNA based therapeutic development, with emphasis on RNA based vaccines, particularly those used against COVID-19.

Playback video:

Dr Ying LI

Speaker Dr Ying LI

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, HKU

Dr Li received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Tsinghua University in 2009 and did her undergraduate research with Prof. Xi Zhang and Prof. Huaping Xu. She got her PhD degree in Chemistry with Prof. Steven C. Zimmerman at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 2016. She moved to University of California, Irvine for postdoctoral training in RNA biology with Prof. Robert C. Spitale. Dr Li joined HKU Chemistry Department in May 2019.

Dr Li develops new analytical tools to interrogate biological processes at molecular levels. She is particularly interested in studying the localisation of ribonucleic acids (RNAs) and their cellular functions. Dr Li’s lab takes a multidimensional approach that integrates organic chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, spectroscopy, and advanced microscopy. With the newly developed photoactivatable proximity labeling methods that label both protein and RNA, her lab looks forward to deciphering protein-RNA complexes involved in multiple cellular processes in detail.