2018 Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award

Marvin H. Caruthers, PhD

University of Colorado

Talk Title: Chemical Synthesis of DNA/RNA and Biological Activity of selected Analogues

Marvin H. Carthers obtained a Ph. D. in Biochemistry in 1968 at Northwestern University with Robert Letsinger. He did his postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Har Gobind Khorana. From 1973 he became Assistant Professor and in 1980 Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He and his research group developed the phosphoramidite synthesis of DNA as well as methods for RNA synthesis and DNA analogues synthesis.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciencesand a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the National Medal of Science in 2006, the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society (2005) and the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2014).

Past Award Recipients:

  • 2017: Michael J. Gait, PhD, Medical Research Council
  • 2016: Stanley T. Crooke, MD, PhD, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • 2015: Fritz Eckstein, PhD, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine

Young Investigator Award

Yizhou Dong, PhD

Associate Professor
The Ohio State University
College of Pharmacy
Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Yizhou Dong is an Associate Professor of College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on the design and development of biotechnology platforms for the treatment of genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancers. Dr. Dong has authored over fifty papers and patents. Several of his inventions have been licensed and are currently under development as drug candidates for clinical trials.

Past Award Recipients:

  • 2017: Keith Gagnon, PhD, Southern Illinois University
  • 2016: Aurélie Goyenvalle, PhD, University of Versailles Saint Quentin
  • 2015: Frank Rigo, PhD, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • 2014: Michael Gantier, PhD, Monash Institute of Medical Research
  • 2013: Jonathan K. Watts, PhD, University of Southampton
  • 2012: Xianbin Yang, PhD, AM Biotechnologies

Dr. Alan M. Gewirtz Memorial Scholarship

Justine N. deGruyter

NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Baran Laboratory, The Scripps Research Institute

Justine deGruyter is a New Mexico native and received her B. S. in Chemistry from New Mexico State University, where she graduated with highest honors in 2014.

Kyle Knouse

Baran Laboratory, The Scripps Research Institute

Kyle Knouse was born in Pennsylvania and received his B.S in Chemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia (2011).


Past Scholarship Recipients:

  • 2017: Karyn Schmidt, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • 2016: Mayumi Takahashi, PhD, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope
  • 2015: Jana McCaskill, PhD, University of Edinburgh
  • 2014: Dale Guenther, University of Idaho
  • 2013: Guizhi Zhu, PhD, University of Florida
  • 2012: Christopher J. Cheng, PhD, Yale University
  • 2011: Aurelie Goyenvalle, PhD, University of Oxford

Paper of the Year

Dr. Alejandra Gonzalez-Duarte, MD

Talk Title: Patisiran, an RNAi Therapeutic, for Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis

Dr. González-Duarte is a Neurologist and Internist at Instituto Nacional de CienciasMédicas y Nutrición in Mexico City. She is Director of the Autonomic and Small Fiber Laboratory and coordinates a large cohort of patients with Amyloidosis.

Travel Grants

  • PhilippinneAupy, INSERM U1179 Versailles Saint Quentin University
  • IrisBarny, MS, Institute of Genetics Diseases, Imagine
  • CansuColpan, MSc., University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Ahmed ElDesoky, University of Sadat City
  • Chantal Ferguson, BA, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Oksana Goroshchuk, MD, PhD Student, Karolinska Institutet
  • SatishJadhav, PhD, University of California, San Diego
  • Zachary Kennedy, M.Sc, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Valerijs Korotkovs, MSci, University of Glasgow
  • Ziwei Liu, PhD, Stanford University
  • FarrukLutful Kabir, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • AngeloMoreno, BSc, Duke University
  • DanielO’Reilly, McGill University
  • SarahOverby, M.Sc., University of Valencia
  • ElainePirie, PhD, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
  • AshishRao, MS, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Krishna Sapkota, University of Southern Mississippi
  • AnnikaSchulz, MChem, Helmholtz Institute for RNA based Infection Research
  • Xiulong Shen, PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Yu-LinSu, PhD, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute
  • Kotaro Yoshioka, MD, PhD, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
  • Satoshi Zeniya, MD, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Poster Awards

The Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society grants a number of Poster Awards to outstanding students and post docs presenting posters at the OTS Annual Meeting. The posters are judged onsite at the meeting and award winners are chosen based on exceptional and promising science as well as presentation of the data.

2018 Poster Award Winners

001 Bruno Godinho, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Neuroactive siRNA Scaffold Enables Broad Distribution and Robust Gene Silencing Throughout the Central Nervous System: Preclinical Studies in Large Mammals

002 Julia Alterman, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Potent and long-term RNA interference-based silencing of huntingtin expression in the CNS

023 Nadia Ayat, Case Western Reserve University
Formulation of targeted long-term, stabile ECO/siRNA nanoparticles with long-term stability for triple negative breast cancer therapy

031 Ian Cardle, University of Washington
Traceless Isolation of CD8+ T Cells by Reversible, Aptamer-Based Selection for CAR T Cell Therapy

045 Ahmed ElDesoky, University of Sadat City
In vitro evaluation of cytotoxic effect of combining two LNA-Gapmer antisense oligonucleotides against Telomerase RNA component (hTR) and mRNA of centromere protein B (CENP-B) in Hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

048 Chantal Ferguson, UMMS
The impact of CAG-repeat expansions on Huntingtin mRNA subcellular localization and accessibility

055 Suzan Hammond, University of Oxford
Peptide Enhanced Delivery of Oligonucleotides to the Skeletal Muscle and CNS

096 Ochaba Joseph, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
A novel role for autophagy in antisense oligonucleotide activity and trafficking

105 Elaine Pirie, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
Mouse Genome-Wide Association Studies and Systems Genetics Uncovers Genes Involved in Antisense Oligomer Uptake, Efficacy, and Inflammation

126 Yu-Lin Su, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute
Targeted delivery of CpG-miR-146a mimic oligonucleotides as a therapeutic strategy to reduce NF-kB-mediated pathogenic inflammation and myeloid leukemia progression

133 Anton Turanov, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Improvement of the chemical modifications of anti-sFLT1 siRNAs for the treatment of preeclampsia.

137 Amita Vaidya, Case Western Reserve University
Nanoparticle-mediated RNAi against DANCR mediates effective TNBC therapy by targeting multiple oncogenic pathways

152 Patricia Müller, Goethe University
Light-Inducible AntimiRs as a Therapeutic Agent

153 Philippine Aupy, University of Versailles Saint Quentin
Preclinical studies of exon 51 tcDNA for DMD therapy: identifying and avoiding sequence specific toxicity

154 Xiulong  Shen, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Activating frataxin expression by antisense oligonucleotides and singlestranded siRNAs targeting the GAA repeat expansion