Melissa J. Moore

Moderna Therapeutics


Primary Section: 22, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Secondary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2017)

Biosketch

Moore is a biochemist and molecular biologist recognized for her work in eukaryotic RNA processing and metabolism. Moore was born and raised in New Market, Virginia. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1984 with a BS in Chemistry and Biology, and earned her PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1989. Following a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship at the MIT Center for Cancer Research, Moore joined the Brandeis University faculty in 1994, where she was named a Searle Scholar and Packard Fellow. In 2007, Moore moved to the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she served as a founding co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute and held the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair of Cancer Research. In 2011, Moore received the ASBMB William C. Rose Award for distinguished mentorship. Following a nineteen-year run as an HHMI Investigator (1997-2016), Moore resigned from HHMI to become the Chief Scientific Officer of the mRNA Research Platform at Moderna Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA. Moore maintains her academic affiliation with UMMS as a part-time faculty member.

Research Interests

Dr. Moore’s research at UMMS and HHMI encompassed a broad array of topics related to the role of RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes in gene expression. She is particularly known for her mechanistic and structural analyses of spliceosomes and mRNPs, co-discovery of the exon junction complex (EJC), and studies of intracellular RNA transport and quality control pathways. She was also instrumental in developing multiple enabling technologies for the field, including methods for introducing site-specific modifications into long RNA molecules and single molecule methods for observing the dynamics of RNP complex assembly and disassembly. At Moderna Therapeutics, Moore directs research into novel delivery mechanisms for therapeutic mRNAs and how to increase their functional output and longevity.

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