Welcome to the online home of Watts Lab

What We Do

We work at the interface of synthetic organic chemistry and studies of modulation of gene expression in cells and organisms. We think nucleic acids are about the most amazing molecules out there – what other class of molecule can be synthesized, copied, read and translated? Or which other class of molecule can swap between functional, complex secondary structures and predictable, linear, readable duplex structure? Nucleic acid chemical biology gives us unique opportunities to interact with cellular processes, to treat and diagnose disease. Our goal is to harness chemistry and biology to help make oligonucleotides a major class of drugs.

Latest News

  • Moazami Image "Best of 2017"

    Graduate student Michael Moazami's image of an antisense oligonucleotide was featured in the the RNA Therapeutics Cell Picture Show and selected for Cell's "Best of 2017 Images." The image will be included in another Cell Picture Show and in the 2018 Cell Press Calendar!

  • Sharma Paper Accepted

    Vivek’s paper on a new GalNAc monomer has been accepted by Bioconjugate Chemistry.

  • Worcester Foundation Grant

    Our work on metabolic labeling of DNA has been supported by a Worcester Foundation grant from UMass Medical School and the Hudson Hoagland Society.