New Interdisciplinary Research Center to Develop RNA Medicine for Better Treatment of Metabolic Diseases

Professor Jørgen Kjems (Aarhus University, DK) is heading a new research center that receives DKK 60 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The funds will be used to develop new types of RNA drugs and methods to deliver them to diseased cells. Photo: Lars Kruse, Aarhus University Foto and Colourbox.

Most people are familiar with RNA in the form of the mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. But in a medical sense, RNA can be used for much more than this. For example, RNA medicine has been shown to restore muscle strength in patients with muscular dystrophy and to treat other rare or common genetic diseases. A new research centre, RNA-META, led by Professor Jørgen Kjems at Aarhus University, with DKK 60 million (~8.7 million US dollars) in funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, will develop new types of RNA medicine and methods to deliver it to diseased cells for targeted disease treatment. In addition to Dr. Kjems, an interdisciplinary team of top researchers will participate: Kurt Gothelf from Aarhus University, Louise Dalgaard from Roskilde University, and Markus Stoffel from ETH Zurich. Their common focus in the research center will be metabolic diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, renal fibrosis and atherosclerosis.

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