RiboWest 2023

Sunday, June 25, 2023 - 5:00pm to Wednesday, June 28, 2023 - 9:00am
University of Northern British Columbia
Prince George

RiboWest 2023 will be hosted at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

The Western Canada RNA Conference, RiboWest, brings together RNA scientists from across Canada and the northwestern United States for the purpose of disseminating current research and providing an opportunity for trainees to present their work. Presentations at the meetings have covered a wide range of RNA topics, including transcription, RNA processing, translation, viruses, genomics, bioinformatics, etc.


Registration is now closed.  We look forward to seeing you at RiboWest 2023!

Conference schedule

Aerial of CampusThe Welcome Reception will take place Sunday, June 25 at approx. 5pm. The Conference will take place all day Monday, June 26 and all day Tuesday, June 27. 

Please click here for the current draft schedule:
RiboWest 2023 Schedule
Please note this schedule is subject to change.


RiboWest encourages all participants to share their work, regardless of your career stage or how far you are in your project.  This gives you the opportunity to meet other participants and to get valuable feedback on your research.  If you would like to present a poster or give a talk, please submit an abstract using the form below.  The deadlines for abstracts are:

May 25th for talks 
June 16th for posters

Send the completed abstract, using the form below, to ribowest2023@gmail.com

Sample Abstract

Speaker and Presenter Biographies

Key Note Speakers

Dr. Tracy Johnson

Tracy L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Keith and Cecilia Terasaki Presidential Endowed Chair
Professor, Molecular, Cell and Development Biology
Dean, Life Sciences, UCLA College

Dr. Tracy Johnson earned her bachelor's degree from UCSD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology form UC Berkeley. She was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral research fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Dr. Johnson began her first faculty position at UCSD in and moved to UCLA to join the faculty in 2013. In 2020, Dr. Johnson was appointed Dean of Life Sciences at UCLA. Her research lab  laboratory focuses on understanding mechanisms of gene regulation, particularly RNA splicing, chromatin modification and the intersection between these reactions.

In addition to her activities at UCLA, Dr. Johnson play a leadership roe in a number of professional societies. She is the current President of the Genetics Society of America. She has served on the RNA Society Board of Directors, the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, and as the chair of the Molecular Genetics NIH study section. She is currently on the Executive Board for the Society of HHMI Professors and recently served as its chair. Dr. Johnson is a trustee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Dr. Johnson has been the recipient of numerous awards. These include the NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and in 2013 was named of the Top 20 Women Professors in California. In 2022 she received the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

To this end, Dr. Johnson has been actively involved in a number of education initiatives to support the development of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, including the HHMI Pathways to Success program, which fosters academic success for students, in part by early exposure to research. In 2017, Dr. Johnson received the 2017 Academic Senate Award for Career Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and in 2018 received the Life Sciences Award for Excellence in Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.

Karissa Sanbonmatsu

Karissa Sanbonmatsu
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group, Theoretical Division

Dr. Karissa Sanbonmatsu is a structural biologist and fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she leads the Sanbonmatsu Laboratory established in 2001. She received her B.A. in Physics from Columbia University in 1992 and Ph.D. in Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Sciences from University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997. Her team uses computational and experimental approaches to understand the mechanism of a diverse array of epigenetic and non-coding RNA systems, including chromatin, ribosomes, riboswitches and long non-coding RNAs. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and an advocate for LGBT scientists. Her TED talk, The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain, has over 2.5 million views on TED.com.

Michael Levin

Michael C. Levin
Professor of Neurology, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research Chair
Cameco Multiple Sclerosis Neuroscience Research Centre

Michael C. Levin, MD, is the inaugural Saskatchewan Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research Chair and Professor of Neurology and Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Saskatchewan. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with special honors at George Washington University, his medical degree at Pennsylvania State University and basic neuroscience training at The Salk Institute with Drs. Max Cowan and Paul Sawchenko. Dr. Levin completed his residency training in Neurology at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where Drs. Fred Plum and Jerry Posner mentored him including while he was chief neurology resident. He then completed his Multiple Sclerosis post-doctoral fellowship in the Neuroimmunology Branch at NIH with Drs. Henry McFarland and Steve Jacobson.

He was recruited to the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he moved up the ranks to professor with tenure, was Chief of the Neurology Service at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center and led the MS clinic and developed a translational research program based on the role that dysfunctional RNA binding proteins play in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration in MS and relevant MS models. His work has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Glia, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, the Journal of Comparative Neurology, and the Journal of Neuroscience Research. Dr. Levin has received more than 30 awards for academic excellence and his work has been recognized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Academy of Neurology, and the Society for Neuroscience. Most recently his work on dysfunctional RNA binding proteins in MS has been recognized by a Canadian ‘Science, Technology, Innovation and Collaboration’ Award for the discovery of stress granules in brain tissue of an MS patient and a Canadian Tri-agency New Frontiers Research Grant – one of the most competitive in Canada - which is awarded for high risk, high reward interdisciplinary research that has the potential for significant impact.

Dr. Levin is married to his lovely wife of more than 30 years, Dr. Audrey Zucker-Levin, an academic physical therapist. He has two strappingly handsome sons and is an avid sailor and scuba diver.

Venue information

UNBC CampusLocated in the spectacular landscape of northern British Columbia, UNBC is one of Canada's best small universities.  We have a passion for teaching, discovery, people, the environment, and the North.

UNBC campus

Additional information


UNBC Guest Accommodation offers four-bedroom, apartment-style, suites with shared bathroom, kitchen and living room. The availability of suites is limited, and we hope all RiboWest attendees will stay on campus. Therefore, please allocate 4 people per suite that you reserve. 

Note, if you are an individual traveller and/or have assigned less than 4 people per suite, please email rooms4ribowest@gmail.com for assistance in finding other attendees to share suites and costs.

Please complete the applicable Reservation Form below depending on the number of four bedroom suites you wish to reserve. Please email the completed form to conference@unbc.ca as soon as possible.

*For more information visit the UNBC Guest Accommodations website.


We thank the following sponsors for their generous contribution to RiboWest 2023!

  Fisher Scientific   
UNBC Logo Health Research Institute

cytiva    Future Fields

Providence Therapeutics       New England BioLabs

Contact Information

Conference logistics and registration

UNBC Conference and Events Services

Conference Content & Speakers

Stephen Rader

Nehal Thakor

Chris Nelson

Kendra Furber

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