Yingjie Xu


2023.11.15 16:00-17:30


Dr. Katalin Karikó from Hungary and Dr. Drew Weissman from the United States, were awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. They discovered that through chemical modifications, a biomolecule called messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) can be utilized within the organism.In vitro-transcribed (IVT) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is engineered to structurally resemble naturally occurring mature and processed eukaryotic mRNA. Such synthetic mRNAs deliver genetic information that allows the translational machinery of the host cells to produce many copies of the encoded proteins, which can function as antigens to boost immune responses or as supplementary beneficial proteins, resulting in a therapeutic effect. With recent developments in mRNA in vivo delivery platforms and the improvement of modified regulatory systems, the stability and transfection efficiency of mRNA have been greatly improved. Modified regulatory systems utilize caps, 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions, open reading frames, poly(A) tails, and chemically-modified nucleotides. The striking effectiveness of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) not only offers hope to end the current pandemic, but also presents mRNA-based therapeutics as a potential new treatment class that may help in the fight against other diseases. 


Graduating from Shanghai Second Medical University's seven-year clinical medicine program, Yingjie Xu earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree. In 2011, she obtained her doctorate from McGill University in Canada. She later pursued postdoctoral training at Boston Children's Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, where she conducted translational research on tumor suppressor gene mRNA. Since July 2017, Dr. Xu has served as principal investigator in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine. Her research group is dedicated to exploring therapeutic applications and mechanisms based on mRNA and is actively involved in establishing a comprehensive technology platform spanning target discovery, mRNA molecule optimization, synthesis, delivery, and clinical application. Notably, the team's significant research findings have been featured in respected academic journals such as Nat. Biomed. Eng, Cell Res, PNAS, Mol Ther Nucleic Acids, Adv Healthc Mater, and Theranostics. In 2019, Dr. Xu Yingjie co-founded RNACure Biopharma Co., Ltd.