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Front Row Lecture Series: Advancing Precision Medicines to Stop Cancer, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy and More

Scripps Research

Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

Front Row Lecture Series: Advancing Precision...

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RSVP Oct 15, 2019 Free  

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Nearly all drugs work by attaching themselves to proteins. But not every protein can be touched with a drug. For over a decade, Scripps Research Professor Matthew Disney, PhD, has focused exclusively on developing approaches to target RNA with small molecules, rather than the usual protein targets. Disney will describe how he developed a computational approach to identifying druggable RNAs, and how he built small molecules to target them via genetic sequence-based design. His platform technologies for healing disease through a focus on altering RNA have opened new potential disease-modifying precision therapies in areas of unmet medical need. These include cancer, neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, muscular dystrophy, viral diseases and much more.

Matthew Disney, PhD
Professor, Scripps Research

Innovative chemist Matthew Disney, PhD, has opened up the burgeoning field of RNA therapeutics, and with it, the potential for making treatments for diseases once deemed “undruggable.” A professor at Scripps Research in Florida, he spent a decade proving that effective drugs could be designed to bind with protein-building machinery, rather than only proteins themselves. His success has had the effect of expanding the universe of anticipated druggable disease targets, and opened new paths for the design of precision medicines. Disney is a founder of Expansion Therapeutics in San Diego, CA and Jupiter, FL, which is focused on developing therapies for RNA-repeat disorders, including muscular dystrophy type 1. He is a recipient of the 2016 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the BioFlorida Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Sackler International Prize in the Physical Sciences, Chemical Biology.

Disney earned his doctoral degree at the University of Rochester and conducted postdoctoral fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He joined Scripps Research in 2010.


World-renowned scientists from Scripps Research step out of the lab and into the auditorium to share snapshots of their pioneering explorations with the public. Learn what makes a molecule lefthanded and why odors rewire the brain. Get a sneak peek at novel medicines headed toward the clinic. Each fascinating and informative talk will lead you to the edge of science and inch you to the edge of your seat.


Thursday, October 17, 2019 
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. PT

Scripps Research Auditorium 
10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive 
San Diego, CA 92121

Click here to view maps and directions for the Scripps Research Auditorium. 


The event is free and open to all. Parking is free. Visit for full event details. 

Have questions about Front Row Lecture Series: Advancing Precision Medicines to Stop Cancer, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy and More? Contact Scripps Research

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Scripps Research Auditorium
10620 John Jay Hopkins Drive
San Diego, CA 92121

Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

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Scripps Research

Scripps Research is ranked the most influential institution in the world for its impact on innovation. A nonprofit organization, Scripps Research expands basic knowledge in the biosciences and uses these fundamental advancements to develop profound innovations that improve wellbeing. Scripps Research scientists lead breakthrough studies that address the world’s most pressing health concerns, accelerating the creation and delivery of medical breakthroughs to better human health across the globe. Our educational and training programs mold talented and committed students and postdocs into the next generation of leading scientists. 

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