Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Director, Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)

Frank Slack is Director of the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine hosted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He is also the Shields Warren Mallinckrodt Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.Frank Slack received his B.Sc. from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, before completing his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He started work on microRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow in Gary Ruvkun’s laboratory at HMS. Dr. Slack subsequently moved to the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where he was a program leader in the Yale Cancer Center and the director of the Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine. There he discovered that microRNAs regulate key human oncogenes and have the potential to act as therapeutics. He also demonstrated the first role for a microRNA in the aging process.


Wellness and Aging Showcase: MicroRNAs in Aging and Diseases of Aging
MicroRNA (miRNAs) function in pathways that impact life span. Gene expression analysis in multiple species has revealed dynamic miRNA expression changes during aging and mutations in certain miRNA genes significantly affect lifespan. Thus miRNAs are useful biomarkers of aging. MiRNA are also potential therapeutics in cancer, a disease of aging.

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