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Annual microRNA Symposium 2022

Decoding the microRNA mysteries in health and disease


The MicroRNA Symposium is a global forum that brings together internationally renowned experts to highlight the latest developments in the field of basic and translational microRNA research. This symposium aims to foster cross-collaborations between national and international researchers/clinicians and serve as a vital platform to accelerate the clinical utility of miRNA-based diagnostics and therapeutics that can pave ways for precision medicine. This meeting will strengthen academia-industry partnership and provide a stimulating environment where students, postdocs and junior investigators can present (oral and poster) and discuss their research to a dynamic audience.

On behalf of the organizers, Dr. Afsar Naqvi (UIC COD) and Dr. Roopa Biswas (USU School of Medicine), we cordially invite noncoding RNA researchers and enthusiasts to participate in this year’s hybrid symposium on Friday October 7, 2022 - Saturday October 8, 2022.

Please find details on location, registration dates and pricing, agenda, abstract submission, speaker information, and sponsorship below. If you have urgent questions please contact Dr. Afsar Naqvi directly at If you have any general questions or require more information please email us



For in person participants – UIC College of Dentistry – 801 S Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60612 Fourth Floor

For virtual participants – A Zoom link will be provided upon registration

Location dependent on selection made during registration

Google Map of 801 S Paulina St.

Keynote Speakers Heading link


Distinguished Speaker – Victor Ambros, PhD – University of Massachusetts

Victor Ambros did his graduate research (1976-1979) with David Baltimore at MIT, studying poliovirus genome structure and replication.  He studied genetic pathways that control developmental timing in the nematode C. elegans as a postdoc in H. Robert Horvitz’s lab at MIT and continued those studies while on the faculty of Harvard (1984-1992), Dartmouth (1992-2007), and the UMass Chan Medical School (2008-present).  In 1993, members of the Ambros lab identified the first microRNA, the product of lin-4, a heterochronic gene of C. elegans.  Since then, the role of microRNAs in development has been a major focus of his research.


Frank J. Slack, PhD – Harvard Medical School

Dr. Frank Slack received his BSc from the University of Cape Town in South Africa before completing his PhD in molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He began work on microRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow in Gary Ruvkun’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School, where he co-discovered the second known microRNA, let- 7, as well as the first human microRNA. The Slack lab seeks to translate their discoveries of the roles of microRNAs into potential cures and biomarkers for cancer and aging.


George A Calin, MD, PhD – MD Anderson Cancer Center 

George Adrian Calin received both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Carol Davila University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania. After working in cytogenetics as an undergraduate student with Dragos Stefanescu in Bucharest, Calin completed cancer genomics training in Massimo Negrini’s laboratory at the University of Ferrara, Italy, and in 2000, he joined as a postdoctoral fellow in Carlo Croce’s laboratory at Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In June 2007, Calin joined MD Anderson as an associate professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics and was promoted to Professor with tenure in 2013. He explores new RNA therapeutic treatment strategies for cancer patients and studies the roles of microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs in cancer initiation and progression, as well as the mechanisms of cancer predisposition.

Headshot of Ryan O Conell

Ryan O’Connell – The University of Utah

Ryan O’Connell completed his PhD at The University of California, Los Angeles, and his postdoctoral studies at David Baltimore’s laboratory at the California Institute of Technology where he started working on microRNAs. His research has since been focused on studying the roles of microRNAs in regulating both physiological and pathological hematopoietic development in mammals, with a focus on inflammation and cancer. He is currently an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and is working towards a greater understanding of how noncoding RNAs regulate inflammatory responses, with an emphasis on pathways that are relevant to human disease including cancer.