Michelle Hastings, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology
Pfizer Upjohn Research Professor of Pharmacology
Director, mRNA Therapeutics, Center for RNA Biomedicine

Office: 2220A MSRB III

Lab: 2315 MSRB III

Office: 734-936-3050


Dr. Hastings' research focuses on understanding genetic basis of disease and discovering new therapeutics that modulate the process of pre-mRNA splicing to alter gene expression. Her work has resulted in the discovery of effective means of targeting splicing with antisense molecules for the potential treatment of a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Batten disease, Usher syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Hastings’ studies on Usher syndrome led to the first demonstration that hearing and balance can be recovered in mice with a mutation that causes congenital deafness in humans, laying the groundwork for developing a treatment for Usher in humans. Her recent work has demonstrated that antisense technology can modulate gene expression pathways associated with Alzheimer’s disease to mitigate learning and memory deficits in mouse models of the disease. A major focus of her work currently is on developing approaches to treat Batten disease using antisense technology. Dr. Hastings has many patents for her discoveries and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and numerous Foundation grants. She was recognized as a 2019 Researcher to Know by the Illinois Science and Technology Consortium

Areas of Interest

  • RNA Biology
    • Pre-mRNA splicing
    • microRNA biogenesis
    • RNA stability and processing
  •  RNA Therapeutics
    • Antisense oligonucleotides
    • mRNA therapeutics
  • Molecular and Genetic Basis of Disease

Honors & Awards

Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2022

Morris L. Parker Research Award, Chicago Med, RFUMS, 2021

Illinois Science and Technology Coalition 2019 Researcher to Know, 2019

Board of Trustees Award for Research Excellence, Chicago Med, RFUMS, 2010

American Cancer Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2000

NRSA National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Fellowship, declined, 2000

Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Fellowship, 1999

Marquette University Graduate Student Research Fellowship, 1997

Denis J. O’Brien Research Fellowship, Marquette University, 1997

Arthur J. Schmitt Fellowship, Marquette University, 1996

Robert B. and Sophia Whiteside Scholarship, 1988



B.A. Biology, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, 1992

Ph.D. Biology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1998

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2005

Senior Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2006

Published Articles or Reviews

Web Sites