Scientific Advisors

Image of Dr. Samie Jaffrey

Dr. Samie Jaffrey

Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Samie Jaffrey is the Greenberg-Starr Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Jaffrey’s work has fundamentally advanced our understanding of RNA biology and gene regulation. Most recently, he helped to launch the field of "epitranscriptomics", which has revealed that mRNA and long noncoding RNAs are regulated by nucleotide modifications that impact their fate and function in cells. Dr. Jaffrey’s transcriptome-wide mapping of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in 2012 revealed that m6A is a pervasive modification in the transcriptome, thereby identifying this modification as a fundamentally novel form of post-transcriptional mRNA regulation. Since this seminal study, Dr. Jaffrey mapped dimethyladenosine (m6Am) and established functions of m6A and m6Am as well as m6A and m6Am reader, writer, and eraser proteins. The mapping methods developed by Dr. Jaffrey have been the essential tool in epitranscriptomics, and have transformed our understanding of gene regulation in normal and disease states.

Dr. Jaffrey is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the recipient of the 2017 John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology, the 2014 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Young Investigator Award Klingenstein Neuroscience Award, Irma T. Hirschl Scholar Award, the McKnight Foundation Technology Development Award, NIH EUREKA Award, the NIH Director’s Transformative R01 Award, and the 2013 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists.

Image of Michael Kharas, PhD

Dr. Michael Kharas

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Michael G. Kharas is an Associate Investigator that leads a laboratory in the Molecular Pharmacology Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY, USA). Dr. Kharas is a member of the Centers for Hematological Malignancies, Stem Cell Biology, Cellular Engineering and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Kharas finished his postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and studied how signaling pathways alters stem cell regulation with Drs. Gary Gilliland and George Daley. In 2011, he started his laboratory at MSK and focused on the controllers of cellular fate in the blood. His laboratory has uncovered new RNA regulators and how they modulate self-renewal, cell-fate decisions, and differentiation in both normal blood development and in myeloid leukemia. His laboratory is also developing small molecule inhibitors that can block the function of these RNA regulators as a potential therapeutic strategy in leukemia.

Image of Dr. Schraga Schwartz

Dr. Schraga Schwartz

Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Schraga Schwartz is currently Principal Investigator and Robert Edward and Roselyn Rich Manson Career Development Chair in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab focuses on deciphering the roles played by post-transcriptional modifications on RNA, and his work has pioneered approaches for genome-wide detection, quantification, functional interrogation and mechanistic dissection of mRNA modifications. His lab developed genome-wide approaches for interrogating m6A (Nature, 2012; Cell, 2013; Cell, 2019; Nature Methods, 2021), pseudouridine (Cell, 2014), m1A (Nature, 2017) and cytidine acetylation (Nature, 2020), uncovering roles of these modifications in diverse processes, including translational control and thermostabilization.

Prior to his appointment at the Weizmann Institute Dr. Schwartz spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute under the joint supervision of Aviv Regev and Eric Lander.

Schraga Schwartz received European Research Council Starting (2016) and Consolidator (2020) grants, a Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research (2020), and the RNA Society Early Career Research Award (2020).