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Professor Moss Selected for Lilly Award

Walter MossBBMB Assistant Professor Walter Moss has received an Eli Lilly Research Award to fund a collaborative research project with Iowa State University scientists researching innovative methods for finding previously overlooked targets for drug therapies in RNA. The $123,000 award supports the work of assistant professor Moss and his team with Lilly scientists.

The award aims to expand and enhance their innovative method of analyzing RNA structure using a tool they called ScanFold. Originally developed in 2018 with help from Ryan Andrews, a doctoral candidate in biochemistry in Moss’ lab, ScanFold uses computer-based bioinformatics to identify unusual sequence patterns in RNA that are likely to significantly influence function. These patterns form shapes that govern how RNAs interact with other molecules, including proteins and small molecules that are the basis of drug therapies.

The Eli Lilly Research Award Program is a competitive program whereby proposals are co-developed by a Lilly scientist and an external researcher, submitted to a multidisciplinary team at Lilly and selected according to the novelty and potential impact of the work.