BAR HARBOR– “How mRNA is Revolutionizing Vaccines,” will be the topic of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s Science Café for Monday, Feb. 8. Husson University’s Dr. Elisabeth Marnik will join this virtual event to explain how the body uses mRNA normally, and how this process has been safely adapted to create vaccines for COVID-19.
Every second, our bodies are taking the directions contained in our DNA, creating mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) and then using that mRNA to make proteins. This process is fundamental to life at all levels – from bacteria to humans. Over the last 12 months, scientists have worked to adapt this process and they used it to develop COVID-19 vaccines. This will not only help end the pandemic but will dramatically change the landscape of how vaccines are developed and produced in the future.
In this online Science Café, the audience will hear from Marnik, assistant professor of molecular biochemistry at Husson University, about how our bodies use mRNA normally, and then how this process has been safely adapted for the creation of a vaccine to protect those immunized against the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Marnik received her bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University and her doctorate from Tufts University, where her research focused on elements of immunology. Previously a post-doctoral fellow at the MDI Biological Laboratory, Marnik is currently assistant professor in the College of Science and Humanities at Husson University. Her ongoing research with C. elegans (nematode worm) focuses on an alternate pathway to regeneration by recreating the properties of germ cells.
MDIBL’s online Zoom presentations will be recorded and uploaded for those who cannot make the live session. When Zoom records, it captures the audience as well as the presenter. If you do not wish to be recorded, turn off your video camera. Audio will still be available.
MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science. The series is held on the second Monday of the month through May, when the bimonthly summer series will begin.
Those wishing to attend this online or gain access to the recording of this event are asked to register in advance at mdibl.org/events.