PhD Proposal by David Wolfson

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Tuesday March 24, 2020 - Wednesday March 25, 2020
      2:00 pm - 3:59 pm
  • Location: HSRB E260
  • Phone:
  • URL:
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:
No contact information submitted.

Summary Sentence: Use of modified mRNA as a gene delivery tool for modulating cardiac electrophysiology

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

David Wolfson

BMED PhD Proposal Presentation


Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: HSRB E260



Hee Cheol Cho, PhD (Emory University)



Philip Santangelo, PhD (Georgia Tech)

Sung Jin Park, PhD (Emory University)

Chunhui Xu, PhD (Emory University)

Jennifer Kwong, PhD (Emory University)


Use of modified mRNA as a gene delivery tool for modulating cardiac electrophysiology

Current somatic gene transfer techniques in cardiomyocytes largely rely on recombinant viral vectors. For instance adenoviral delivery of the transcription factor, TBX18, has proven successful in converting ventricular myocytes to pacemaker cells. Though effective, viral vectors may elicit adverse/catastrophic immune reaction. Conversely, in vitro transcribed, modified mRNA (IVT mRNA) offers a versatile, easy-to-make gene transfer modality with a lower immunogenic profile. Thus, this project seeks to test the functional efficacy of somatic gene transfer of IVT mRNAs in cardiomyocytes for modulating their electrophysiological phenotype. IVT mRNA will be generated from codon-optimized DNA templates, incorporating modified nucleotides for enhanced stability. In order to visualize functional and successful transfection, fluorescent and bioluminescent reporter-encoded IVT mRNAs will be used as a readout for success. In terms of electrophysiological modulation, TBX18-encoded IVT mRNA will be used to test for known phenotypic changes both in vitro and in vivo. If successful, this will be the first study making use of IVT mRNA for cardiac delivery of TBX18 as a gene therapy for cardiac pacing. Compared to traditional viral vectors, IVT mRNA will mitigate concerns of potential off-target and inflammatory effects, thus advancing the clinical translation of electrophysiological therapies, such as biological pacemakers.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 10, 2020 - 3:12pm
  • Last Updated: Mar 10, 2020 - 3:12pm