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Jonathan K Watts PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentRNA Therapeutics Institute
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Ave North
Worcester MA 01605
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentNeuroNexus Institute

    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentRNA Therapeutics Institute

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentMD/PhD Program

    InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentTranslational Science


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, CanadaBSChemistry
    McGill University, Montreal, QC, CanadaPHDBio-organic Chemistry

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    1. Price DA, Kartje ZJ, Hughes JA, Hill TD, Loth TM, Watts JK, Gagnon KT, Moran SD. Infrared Spectroscopy Reveals the Preferred Motif Size and Local Disorder in Parallel Stranded DNA G-quadruplexes. Chembiochem. 2020 May 05. PMID: 32372560.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Wang F, Zuroske T, Watts JK. RNA therapeutics on the rise. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2020 Apr 27. PMID: 32341501.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Watts JK, Ockene IS. RNA Interference for the Masses? siRNA Targeting PCSK9 Promises Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Nucleic Acid Ther. 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31928497.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Aartsma-Rus A, Watts JK. The Munich Meeting: Medical Maturation, More Mechanisms, and Milasen. Nucleic Acid Ther. 2019 12; 29(6):302-304. PMID: 31804155.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Watts JK, Brown RH, Khvorova A. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics for Neurological Diseases. Neurotherapeutics. 2019 Apr 29. PMID: 31037650.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Debacker AJ, Sharma VK, Meda Krishnamurthy P, O'Reilly D, Greenhill R, Watts JK. Next-Generation Peptide Nucleic Acid Chimeras Exhibit High Affinity and Potent Gene Silencing. Biochemistry. 2019 Feb 12; 58(6):582-589. PMID: 30520300.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Mir A, Alterman JF, Hassler MR, Debacker AJ, Hudgens E, Echeverria D, Brodsky MH, Khvorova A, Watts JK, Sontheimer EJ. Heavily and fully modified RNAs guide efficient SpyCas9-mediated genome editing. Nat Commun. 2018 Jul 06; 9(1):2641. PMID: 29980686.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Sharma VK, Osborn MF, Hassler M, Echeverria D, Ly S, Ulashchik E, Martynenko-Makaev Y, Shmanai VV, Zatsepin TS, Khvorova A, Watts J. Novel Cluster and Monomer-Based GalNAc Structures Induce Effective Uptake of siRNAs in Vitro and in Vivo. Bioconjug Chem. 2018 Jun 13. PMID: 29898368.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Osborn MF, Coles AH, Golebiowski D, Echeverria D, Moazami MP, Watts JK, Sena-Esteves M, Khvorova A. Efficient Gene Silencing in Brain Tumors with Hydrophobically Modified siRNAs. Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Jun; 17(6):1251-1258. PMID: 29654062.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Hu J, Rong Z, Gong X, Zhou Z, Sharma VK, Xing C, Watts JK, Corey DR, Mootha VV. Oligonucleotides targeting TCF4 triplet repeat expansion inhibit RNA foci and mis-splicing in Fuchs' dystrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 03 15; 27(6):1015-1026. PMID: 29325021.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Li L, Shen X, Liu Z, Norrbom M, Prakash TP, O'Reilly D, Sharma VK, Damha MJ, Watts JK, Rigo F, Corey DR. Activation of Frataxin Protein Expression by Antisense Oligonucleotides Targeting the Mutant Expanded Repeat. Nucleic Acid Ther. 2018 02; 28(1):23-33. PMID: 29341839.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Sharma VK, Singh SK, Krishnamurthy PM, Alterman JF, Haraszti RA, Khvorova A, Prasad AK, Watts JK. Synthesis and biological properties of triazole-linked locked nucleic acid. Chem Commun (Camb). 2017 Aug 03; 53(63):8906-8909. PMID: 28736781.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Pendergraff HM, Krishnamurthy PM, Debacker AJ, Moazami MP, Sharma VK, Niitsoo L, Yu Y, Tan YN, Haitchi HM, Watts JK. Locked Nucleic Acid Gapmers and Conjugates Potently Silence ADAM33, an Asthma-Associated Metalloprotease with Nuclear-Localized mRNA. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2017 Sep 15; 8:158-168. PMID: 28918018.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Khvorova A, Watts JK. The chemical evolution of oligonucleotide therapies of clinical utility. Nat Biotechnol. 2017 Mar; 35(3):238-248. PMID: 28244990.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Pendergraff HM, Debacker AJ, Watts JK. Single-Stranded Silencing RNAs: Hit Rate and Chemical Modification. Nucleic Acid Ther. 2016 08; 26(4):216-22. PMID: 27123752.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Sharma VK, Watts JK. Oligonucleotide therapeutics: chemistry, delivery and clinical progress. Future Med Chem. 2015; 7(16):2221-42. PMID: 26510815.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Poma A, Brahmbhatt H, Pendergraff HM, Watts JK, Turner NW. Generation of novel hybrid aptamer-molecularly imprinted polymeric nanoparticles. Adv Mater. 2015 Jan 27; 27(4):750-8. PMID: 25413444.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Schaukowitch K, Joo JY, Liu X, Watts JK, Martinez C, Kim TK. Enhancer RNA facilitates NELF release from immediate early genes. Mol Cell. 2014 Oct 02; 56(1):29-42. PMID: 25263592.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Watts JK. Locked nucleic acid: tighter is different. Chem Commun (Camb). 2013 Jun 25; 49(50):5618-20. PMID: 23682352.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Watts JK, Corey DR. Silencing disease genes in the laboratory and the clinic. J Pathol. 2012 Jan; 226(2):365-79. PMID: 22069063.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Gagnon KT, Watts JK, Pendergraff HM, Montaillier C, Thai D, Potier P, Corey DR. Antisense and antigene inhibition of gene expression by cell-permeable oligonucleotide-oligospermine conjugates. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jun 08; 133(22):8404-7. PMID: 21539318.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Hu J, Gagnon KT, Liu J, Watts JK, Syeda-Nawaz J, Bennett CF, Swayze EE, Randolph J, Chattopadhyaya J, Corey DR. Allele-selective inhibition of ataxin-3 (ATX3) expression by antisense oligomers and duplex RNAs. Biol Chem. 2011 Apr; 392(4):315-25. PMID: 21294677.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Anzahaee MY, Watts JK, Alla NR, Nicholson AW, Damha MJ. Energetically important C-H···F-C pseudohydrogen bonding in water: evidence and application to rational design of oligonucleotides with high binding affinity. J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Feb 02; 133(4):728-31. PMID: 21171597.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Deleavey GF, Watts JK, Alain T, Robert F, Kalota A, Aishwarya V, Pelletier J, Gewirtz AM, Sonenberg N, Damha MJ. Synergistic effects between analogs of DNA and RNA improve the potency of siRNA-mediated gene silencing. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jul; 38(13):4547-57. PMID: 20413581.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Watts JK, Yu D, Charisse K, Montaillier C, Potier P, Manoharan M, Corey DR. Effect of chemical modifications on modulation of gene expression by duplex antigene RNAs that are complementary to non-coding transcripts at gene promoters. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Aug; 38(15):5242-59. PMID: 20403811.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Watts JK, Corey DR. Clinical status of duplex RNA. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2010 Jun 01; 20(11):3203-7. PMID: 20399650.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Watts JK, Martín-Pintado N, Gómez-Pinto I, Schwartzentruber J, Portella G, Orozco M, González C, Damha MJ. Differential stability of 2'F-ANA*RNA and ANA*RNA hybrid duplexes: roles of structure, pseudohydrogen bonding, hydration, ion uptake and flexibility. Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Apr; 38(7):2498-511. PMID: 20071751.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Deleavey GF, Watts JK, Damha MJ. Chemical modification of siRNA. Curr Protoc Nucleic Acid Chem. 2009 Dec; Chapter 16:Unit 16.3. PMID: 20013783.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Watts JK, Katolik A, Viladoms J, Damha MJ. Studies on the hydrolytic stability of 2'-fluoroarabinonucleic acid (2'F-ANA). Org Biomol Chem. 2009 May 07; 7(9):1904-10. PMID: 19590787.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Watts JK, Deleavey GF, Damha MJ. Chemically modified siRNA: tools and applications. Drug Discov Today. 2008 Oct; 13(19-20):842-55. PMID: 18614389.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Watts JK, Johnston BD, Jayakanthan K, Wahba AS, Pinto BM, Damha MJ. Synthesis and biophysical characterization of oligonucleotides containing a 4'-selenonucleotide. J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 09; 130(27):8578-9. PMID: 18543920.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Watts JK, Choubdar N, Sadalapure K, Robert F, Wahba AS, Pelletier J, Pinto BM, Damha MJ. 2'-fluoro-4'-thioarabino-modified oligonucleotides: conformational switches linked to siRNA activity. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007; 35(5):1441-51. PMID: 17284457.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Watts JK, Sadalapure K, Choubdar N, Pinto BM, Damha MJ. Synthesis and conformational analysis of 2'-fluoro-5-methyl-4'-thioarabinouridine (4'S-FMAU). J Org Chem. 2006 Feb 03; 71(3):921-5. PMID: 16438502.
      View in: PubMed
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