The breakthrough success of the COVID-19 vaccines was a stunning example of the potential mRNA technology. mRNAs are the first major new class of drugs in decades and are fundamentally different to other drugs. Unlike conventional drugs they are information carrying molecules that instruct cells to produce drugs inside your own body. The applications of mRNAs lie far beyond vaccines for infectious diseases and are set to transform medicine. mRNA therapies offer hope for cancer, autoimmunity, and inherited diseases that have been failed by other drug types. This talk will trace the history of mRNA drugs, the capabilities of UQ’s BASE mRNA facility and novel applications of mRNA technologies for new therapies.

Light lunch to follow the seminar.

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About the speaker

Speaker biography Dr Seth Cheetham is an ARC Discovery Early Career Award Fellow and group leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. His research focuses on the development of new mRNA therapies for intractable disease. He completed his noncoding RNAs PhD on RNA  at the University of Cambridge, supported by the Herchel Smith Research Studentship. Seth is a molecular biologist and geneticist with a focus on mRNA drugs, synthetic biology and epigenetics. He has authored 22 publications, including twelve as a first author and four as a corresponding author. He has published in some of the most influential molecular biology journals including Science, Molecular Cell, Nature Reviews Genetics, Genome Biology and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. His work has attracted >$2.5M in funding including an ARC DECRA (2022) and NHMRC Fellowship (2019). In 2021 Seth was award the Genetics Society of Australasia Alan Wilton ECR awarded for his RNA research program.

About Seminar Series

The School of Pharmacy Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate, masters and honours students.


Level 5, Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) and via Zoom (
Room 5025