Strategic Advisory Board

Chuan He

Chuan He, PhD. is the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry,  Department of Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1994 from the University of Science and Technology of China and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000, studying under Professor, Stephen J. Lippard. After training as a Damon-Runyon postdoctoral fellow with Professor, Gregory L. Verdine at Harvard University, he joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor, rising to associate professor in 2008 and full professor in 2010. He was selected as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2013. Dr. He’s research spans a broad range of fields including chemical biology, RNA biology, epigenetics, biochemistry, and genomics. His recent research concerns reversible RNA and DNA methylation in biological regulation. In 2011, his group discovered reversible RNA methylation as a new mechanism of gene expression regulation. His laboratory has spearheaded the development of enabling technologies to study the biology of RNA and DNA modifications.

Adrian Krainer, PhD

Adrian R. Krainer, PhD. is the St. Giles Foundation Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Deputy Director of Research at the CSHL Cancer Center. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 1986, working with Prof. Tom Maniatis on pre-mRNA splicing mechanisms. He continued his research on splicing as a Cold Spring Harbor Fellow, mentored by Dr. Richard J. Roberts, and joined the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor in 1989. In addition to studying RNA splicing mechanisms, regulation, and dysfunction in disease, his laboratory is engaged in the development of mechanism-based targeted therapies to correct or modulate alternative splicing in genetic diseases and cancer. This work has resulted to date in 228 publications and 13 issued patents. In collaboration with Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Biogen, Dr. Krainer’s laboratory developed nusinersen (Spinraza), which corrects the splicing defect in the SMN2 pre-mRNA and became the first approved therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic motor-neuron disease.

Dr. Krainer is a co-founder, Director, and Chair of the SAB of Stoke Therapeutics. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Recent awards include the 2019 Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize (shared with Dr. Frank Bennett), the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award of the RNA Society, the 2019 International Prize for Translational Neuroscience (shared with Dr. Richard Finkel), the 2020 Takeda Pharmaceuticals & NY Academy of Sciences Innovators in Science Senior Scientist Award in Rare Diseases, the 2020 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine (Feinstein Institute), the 2021 Wolf Prize in Medicine (shared with Drs. Joan Steitz and Lynne Maquat), the 2021 Gabbay Award in Biotechnology & Medicine (Brandeis University, shared with Dr. Frank Bennett),and the 2022 August M.Watanabe Prize (Indiana University,School of Medicine).

Lynne Maquat

Lynne Maquat, PhD. is the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair, Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics who holds concomitant appointments in Pediatrics and in Oncology, Founding Director of the Center for RNA Biology, and Founding Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undertaking post-doctoral work at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, she joined Roswell Park Cancer Institute before moving to the University of Rochester. Dr. Maquat’s research focuses on the molecular basis of human diseases, with particular interest in mechanisms of mRNA metabolism. Dr. Maquat discovered nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in human diseases in 1981 and, subsequently, the exon-junction complex (EJC) and how the EJC marks mRNAs for quality-control “pioneer” rounds of protein synthesis. She also discovered Staufen-mediated mRNA decay, which mechanistically competes with NMD and, by so doing, new roles for short interspersed elements and long non-coding RNAs.

Additionally, she has defined a new mechanism by which microRNAs are degraded, thereby regulating mRNAs so as to promote the cell cycle. Among her current work, she is investigating how human cells utilize NMD as a type of rheostat to better adapt to changes in environment during development and differentiation. This work has led to discovering the potential utility of small molecule inhibitors of NMD to, for example, augment chemotherapeutics that damage DNA or, as another example, dampen the hyperactivated NMD she has shown typifies Fragile X Syndrome, which is the most common single-gene cause of autism and intellectual disability. Maquat is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006); an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2006), the National Academy of Sciences (2011), and the National Academy of Medicine (2017); and a Batsheva de Rothschild Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences & Humanities (2012-3). She received the international RNA Society Lifetime Achievement Award in Service (2010) and in Science (2017), the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (2014), a Canada Gairdner International Award (2015), the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science (2017), the FASEB Excellence in Science Award (2018), the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences from Rockefeller University (2018), the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal (2019), the Wolf Prize in Medicine from the Wolf Foundation in Israel (2021), and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School (2021). Maquat is well-known for her efforts to promote women in science.