RNA - Genetherapys

Thinking out of the box with Artificial Intelligence

Focused on the discovery of new frontiers, the Galileo Festival of Science and Innovation welcomes Prof Rosario Rizzuto, the President of the National Center for Gene Therapy and Drugs based on RNA Technology, to share how the National Center works to advance scientific innovation in Italy. Held in Padua on 4th May 2024, the segment featuring Prof Rizzuto and Dr. Emanuele de Rinaldis, Global Head Vice-President of Precision Medicine and Computational Biology at Sanofi, discusses the theme of artificial intelligence as a tool for precision medicine.

Prof Rizzuto explains that the strength behind the National Center lies within its aim, not as a singular entity but rather as a collection of the brightest scientific minds, virtually working together to ensure Italy maintains a competitive angle in the growing economic field of biotechnology. Too long has there been a separation between those who enjoy the freedom of pursuing academic research from those focused on specific goals within the pharmaceutical sector, it is time they work together to fill the missing gap needed to ensure a sustainable healthcare system.

Primarily funded by the European Union National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the activities of the National Center hold a tight deadline of 36 months to not only bring forth pharmaceutical results to the marketplace but to support the economic growth of southern Italy and provide a new generation with the skills to ensure its continuation. Prof Rizzuto draws upon the theme of the event by explaining how National Center research addresses this challenge.

The goal of precision medicine is to find the molecular identity of a single genetic defect in DNA structure or, recently, even in coding (as a functioning protein) or noncoding (as a regulatory function) RNA. This is useful not only for rare genetic diseases, but also for more common diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, as a combination of many rare diseases put together using the same manipulation methods. Then, molecular identity can be used to find specific drugs by developing technology platforms-this is how the National Center’s activities address this challenge.

As prof Rizzuto states, artificial intelligence is merely a tool, not a solution. Artificial intelligence used in Biocomputing organizes the massive amount of biological data collected when investigating the molecular identity of diseases by predicting which works best in developing pharmacological solutions thanks to algorithms that check for efficiency and toxicity.


Written by

The Foundation’s editorial staff

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