A National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher whose work is directly relevant to messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine development is scheduled to present a University of Wyoming seminar Friday, November 12.

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Jordan Meier, a senior investigator and head of the Epigenetics and Metabolism Section Center for Cancer Research of the NCI, will be presenting “Understanding the Chemistry of Volcanic RNA to Treat Cancer and COVID-19” as part of the UW Department of Molecular Biology’s seminar series.

The presentation, set for 2:30 p.m., will be available via Zoom.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which use mRNA created in a laboratory to teach human cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

Meier’s talk will focus on technical aspects of RNA chemistry and molecular biology, yet he is expected to also discuss how his work relates to mRNA vaccines.

Specifically, Meier will introduce his group’s work developing chemical tools to investigate RNA acetylation; why this led to the study of an organism that thrives in volcanic craters; and how fundamental studies such as these are being used to fuel new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer and COVID-19.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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