John J. Rossi

City of Hope, USA

John J. Rossi received his ph.d. degree in microbial genetics from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn, USA. For postdoctoral training, Dr. Rossi went to Brown University Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was trained by Dr. Arthur Landy studying the genomic structure, organization, and expression of two-gene clusters encoding tRNA-tyrosine in E. coli. This research led to the first observation that a tRNA gene cluster was cotranscribed with and subsequently processed from an mRNA. In 1980 Dr. Rossi moved to the Department of Molecular Genetics at the City of Hope in Duarte, California. Dr. Rossi’s laboratory began to develop and test the idea of utilizing catalytic RNAs or ribozymes for inhibition of HIV infection. This research program has led to two clinical trials in which ribozyme genes have been transduced into hematopoietic stem cells for autologous transplant in HIV-infected individuals. Work in the laboratory continues to focus upon enhancing the intracellular efficacy of ribozymes and RNA decoys via RNA trafficking and target colocalization approaches. At present, a large percentage of the research effort of the lab is focused upon the biology and utilization of small interfering RNAs, or siRNA. This program has led to a first of its kind hematopoietic stem cell clinical trial using a triple gene therapy approach in AIDS/lymphoma patients.

Biography Updated on 11 June 2009

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