2017 OTS Young Investigator Award Winner Keith Gagnon, Ph.D.

Keith Gagnon, PhD.

Southern Illinois University

Talk Title: A ‘Guided’ Tour of an Early Career in RNA and Nucleic Acid Therapeutics

Biography: Dr. Keith T. Gagnon earned his Ph.D. from NC State University under the direction of Dr. E. Stuart Maxwell. His thesis investigated the structure-function relationship of archaeal box C/D small RNA-guided enzymes. Keith then joined Dr. David R. Corey’s research group at UT Southwestern Medical center for a postdoctoral fellowship. While in the Corey laboratory, Keith investigated ASO-based and RNAi-based therapeutics for Huntington’s disease, with an emphasis on molecular mechanisms. He also investigated the activity of RNAi in the human cell nucleus for expanding the application of siRNAs to nuclear targets. Keith moved to Southern Illinois University in 2014 to start an independent laboratory. His research focuses on molecular disease mechanisms and therapeutics for C9FTD/ALS and other repeat expansion disorders as well as mechanisms of RNA-guided enzymes and their applications for biotechnology and therapeutics.