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John DeVincenzo, MD, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Discovers First Evidence that RNA-interference Drugs Reduce Human Disease
Date:5/28/2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John DeVincenzo, MD, professor and researcher in the Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has proven for the first time that a totally new concept in drug design can be used to treat human disease.  Dr. DeVincenzo, who also serves as a children's infectious diseases specialist at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, conducted his study at the Children's Foundation Research Center, a UT Health Science Center partner located at Le Bonheur.

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The new drug design concept is that a simple chain of sugars called RNA (Ribonucleic Acid*) can be easily designed on laptop computers and then synthesized into powerful disease-fighting therapies.  The therapies work by shutting down disease-causing genes through a process known as RNA interference (RNAi).  The discovery of this natural process of RNAi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.  RNAi drugs had shown promise in test tube studies and in animals, but had never been shown to work in humans.  

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SOURCE University of Tennessee Health Science Center
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