Dr. Frank Slack Director of the iRM, Harvard Medical School, USA

1 Talk

Dr. Frank Slack is the Director of the Institute for RNA Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Shields Warren Mallinckrodt Professor, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School. He received his BSc from the University of Cape Town in South Africa before completing his PhD in molecular biology at... read moreTufts 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.

The Slack laboratory is at the forefront of the small RNA revolution. They co-discovered the first human microRNA, let-7 and showed that it is a tumor suppressor that controls key cancer genes, such as RAS, MYC and LIN28. They are developing let-7 and a second microRNA, miR-34 as novel cancer therapeutics with miR-34 already in Phase I clinical trials. They also proved that microRNAs act as key oncogenes and developed strategies to target these oncomiRs for cancer therapy. Their research also extends to discovery of additional novel small RNAs in development, cancer, aging and diabetes as well as identifying novel SNPs in the non-coding portions of the genome with an eye to identifying the next generation of actionable targets in cancer.