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RNA Therapeutics Institute


Who we are 

The RTI was founded in 2009 and became an academic department in 2016, chaired by Phillip D. Zamore, PhD. The RTI is dedicated to leveraging the strong RNA biology and clinical research communities at UMass Chan to develop novel therapies for which RNA is the therapeutic target or modality.  The RNA Therapeutics Institute faculty are recognized as scientific trailblazers, and include a Nobel Laureate, a Gairdner Prize recipient, the 2018 RNA Society early and mid-career award recipients, two National Academy of Sciences members, three Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, and three Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.


The RTI comprises a key component of the UMass Chan Advanced Therapeutics Cluster, which also includes the Neurotherapeutics Institute and the Gene Therapy Center. The Neurotherapeutics Institute is co-directed by RTI faculty member Neil Aronin, MD, along with Robert Brown, MD, DPhil, who chairs the Department of Neurology. The RTI’s close affiliation with the Neurotherapeutics Institute and the Gene Therapy Center provides an unparalleled intellectual environment in which to accomplish the common goal of developing novel therapeutics.

What we do

By interweaving basic and applied nucleic acid scientists with clinicians dedicated to finding new cures, our goal is to create a new paradigm for organizing molecular research that enables the rapid application of new biological discoveries to solutions for unmet challenges in human health. By uniting researchers studying the fundamental biology and mechanisms of cellular RNAs with those working to devise human therapies using or targeting nucleic acids, the RTI represents a new model for scientific exploration. 


Land Acknowledgement

UMass Chan Medical School acknowledges that its campus is located on lands that were once part of the original homeland of the Nipmuc people. We denounce the violence that stripped these original stewards of lands that were their ancestral home and denied their descendants the opportunity for an authentic connection to it. In making this acknowledgement, we announce our intention to listen to and follow the lead of our Indigenous neighbors and work together to create new legacies of equity and respect.


Take a 3D tour of the RTI!

Tour the UMass Chan campus


Why Worcester, MA?

Worcester is the new 'it' town.



Image by Jenniferrfields, CC BY-SA 3.0

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What is RNA?

Learn more about this fascinating molecule that we call RNA.

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What are RNA-based Therapeutics?

Learn more on how we develop therapeutics by harnessing the flow of genetic information (i.e. RNA or DNA) to treat the root cause of disease.

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RNA Therapeutics Institute