National Academy of Sciences

The funding will be used to conduct a consensus study to develop a roadmap for scientific and technology development to enable direct sequencing of RNA modifications, specifically chemical modifications of the four RNA bases. Through this study, the National Academies will convene a diverse, multidisciplinary, multi-sector committee of experts to evaluate the need for technologies to sequence all RNA modifications in humans and model organisms, identify scientific and technological milestones that need to be achieved to enable sequencing of known and previously unknown modifications, and identify policy, workforce and infrastructure needs associated with establishing and maintaining a robust capability for sequencing RNA modifications. The study will include several interim activities to generate interest and buy-in from key scientific, institutional, and policy stakeholders and to provide opportunities for scientific discourse and innovation throughout the project. Furthermore, this study will provide outreach opportunities to K-12 educators, informal science educators, and citizen science groups to inspire future generations of scientists to pursue careers in science, whether at the bench or beyond. This project aligns with the Warren Alpert Foundation’s mission of progress toward improving medical treatments and cures through basic, translational, and applied research and innovation.