Registration for the third RNA Granules meeting is now open, and is set to bring experts ranging from basic scientists to clinicians who are involved in this exciting area of research together in Vancouver.

The study of RNA granules touches on many research areas including infectious diseases, neurological disorders and cancer. The goal of the conference is to discuss the latest advances in cell biology, neurobiology, microbiology and physical chemistry which have revealed insights into the role of RNA granules. The conference will be a mix of talks and posters from PIs/trainees with ample time for discussions.

The event is being organized by a team based in Vancouver, including Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) researcher Dr. Neil Cashman, a Canadian leader in neurodegenerative disease who says he’s recently developed an interest in the study of RNA granules, which may be crucibles of toxic aggregation of neuronal proteins.

“RNA granules is the new frontier in neurodegeneration, especially ALS and FTD—virtually all the misfolded proteins that accumulate in dying neurons in these diseases participate in RNA processing, transport, and cellular stress responses,” said Dr. Cashman.

This will be the third meeting of its kind, following up on the success of two prior symposia held in Halifax in 2014 and Heidelberg in 2017. The meeting will take place May 24 to 26, just ahead of the 25th annual International RNA Meeting which will also be held in Vancouver.

Poster submissions are still being accepted and early bird registration is open until March 13, with an added discount for trainees. The meeting will include both oral and poster presentations to inform attendees about new and exciting research, as well as to foster networking and potential collaborations.

The meeting will host a variety of speakers, including keynotes from two highly respected researchers in the field. Dr. Paul Anderson is a professor in the division of rheumatology, immunology, and allergy at Harvard University who will be discussing granules, tRNA, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The second keynote will come from University of California-San Diego Professor Dr. Gene Yeo, whose research interests lie in understanding and manipulating RNA processing in development and disease using induced pluripotent stem cell and animal models.

“This promises to be a meeting illuminating the fungible role of RNA granules in human disease—the unifying principles between cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious disease,” said meeting organizers Dr. Neil Cashman and Dr. Eric Jan, who is based at the Life Sciences Institute. “For all those interested in the common denominator of these  disorders, RNA Granules Vancouver is a must!”

The RNA Granules 2020 meeting will take place in downtown Vancouver at the Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre of Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre Campus from May 24-26. For more information, or to register to attend, visit