Image by Bence Horvai

Chimerna

A new paradigm for RNA therapeutics

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Tornado Technology

Enabling RNA therapeutics by overcoming RNA instability

At Chimerna, our platform for generating circular RNA overcomes the major limitations of RNA therapeutics – stability and abundance.  Our proprietary technology finally makes robust endogenous expression of RNAs and RNA aptamers possible. The Tornado platform has a wide range of applications that include aptamers, molecular sponges, protein expression, and molecular sensors. We are continually evolving this technology with exciting developments in the pipeline.

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Our team

Brian Pickering, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer

Brian has been working in drug discovery since 2005 when he led a team to develop vaccines and therapeutics across a number of different diseases.  His research has been the basis of multiple biotech and pharmaceutical start-ups. Brian has authored dozens of research papers and patents covering both basic and translational research.  He received his B.S. from Texas A&M University, a Ph.D. in Medical Biodefense from George Mason University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He completed his post-doctoral studies at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Jacob Litke, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, President

Jacob has over a decade of research experience focused on nucleic acids and biotechnology development.  He is an expert in aptamer development, fluorescence imaging, and biophysical methods. Jacob was responsible for conceiving and ultimately developing Chimerna's Tornado technology.  He also has years of experience in overseeing day-to-day operations of a large research lab, fulfilling leadership and organizational roles.  Jacob received his B.A. and M.A. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. from the Tri-Institutional PhD Program in Chemical Biology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Scientific advisor

Samie Jaffrey, MD, Ph.D

Greenburg-Starr Professor 

Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Jaffrey received an M.D. and Ph.D. in 1999 from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he also conducted postdoctoral research.

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Dr. Jaffrey’s work has fundamentally advanced our understanding of

RNA biology and gene regulation.  His lab originally developed the

Tornado technology.  His research has been a driving force for biotechnology and therapeutic applications of RNA.  

Dr. Jaffrey’s is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the recipient of the 2017 John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology, Klingenstein Neuroscience Award, Irma T. Hirschl Scholar Award, the McKnight Foundation Technology Development Award, NIH EUREKA Award, the NIH Director’s Transformative R01 Award, the 2013 Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, and the 2014 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Young Investigator Award.