Top Tech, Top Talent: The RNA Institute at The University at Albany

Top Tech, Top Talent: The RNA Institute at The University at Albany

August 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


I think I always knew growing up that I wanted
to be a scientist. For me research was always very exciting and still is. My name is Dan
Fabris. I’m a professor at the University at Albany in the RNA Institute. RNA biology
is really the new frontier for research and that’s why I need people that are not afraid
of going into uncharted territory. -The actual research that’s going on at the
RNA Institute it’s a lot different than most academic settings. Up here you have a core
facility which is now concentrating just on RNA. So you have a lot more partnerships,
a lot more opportunity for research. My name is Brad Mangrum. I’m a post-doctoral associate
at the RNA Institute research center. The research we’re doing, is we’re actually trying
to model using mass spectrometry the actual 3D structures of these RNA’s. Because you
can actually solve a lot of the problems as far as cancer research or virology.
-We could be targeting some of these RNA’s for inhibiting the development of cancer for
example, degenerative diseases. There’s a lot of potential there.
-So we’re looking at the mass spectrometry spectrum and we’re piecing that together to form a
3D puzzle. The actual mass spectrometer that we have, it’s basically a very large magnet.
-Only a few of these are in the world and we have them here. My name is Papa-Nii Asare
Okai, and my title here is post-doc. For this lab our specific aim is on the HIV virus.
We are doing research that can have a great impact on the world. So I feel proud and blessed
to be part of this team. -You can see so many different applications
and outcomes that you can make such a difference. My name is Maria Basanta Sanchez. For me,
where I’m coming from, just to be here doing research, it really means the world to me.
(LAUGHS) -We have a mechanism in both the chemistry
and the biological sciences departments to have undergrads involved in research. The
undergraduates are just like graduate students here. They have their own project, they’re
able to write their own papers if they want to.
-If they are willing to learn, we are willing to teach them.
-So they really live the life of a scientist. The excitement of the discovery. RNA biology
is really the new frontier for research. -The way we are going about solving the problem
is what’s really new here. -Basically what we’re getting into is stuff
that hasn’t been done before, but that’s really good because it opens up new doors for us.