World Expert on RNA Interference (RNAi) and Small RNAs Gives Plenary Address on Final Day of 2015 Annual Meeting of International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) in Washington, DC

On Sunday, April 26, the final day of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) (, with a special focus on exosomes, the 800+ attendees were privileged to hear a plenary address from one of the world’s foremost authorities on small RNAs and RNA interference (RNAi), Gary Ruvkun (photo), Ph.D. Dr. Ruvkun is a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ruvkun discovered the mechanism by which lin-4, the first microRNA (miRNA) discovered by Dr. Victor Ambros, regulates the translation of target messenger RNAs via imperfect base-pairing to those targets, and also discovered the second miRNA, let-7, and demonstrated that it is conserved across animal phylogeny, including in humans. These miRNA discoveries revealed a new world of RNA regulation at an unprecedented small size scale, and the mechanism of that regulation. Dr. Ruvkun has also discovered many features of insulin-like signaling in the regulation of aging and metabolism. Given that the cargo of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles frequently includes varieties of small RNAs, particularly miRNAs, Dr. Ruvkun’s world-class expertise in the field of small RNAs was particularly relevant to this ISEV audience. The winner of numerous prestigious science awards throughout his career, Dr. Ruvkun most recently was named a recipient of the 2015 “Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences” (shared with Dr. Victor Ambros) for “the discovery of a new world of genetic regulation by microRNAs, a class of tiny RNA molecules that inhibit translation or destabilize complementary mRNA targets.” Dr. Ruvkun was warmly introduced to the crowd by brief remarks from Dr. Ken Witwer, Dr. Andrew Hill, and Dr.
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