CRISPR Systems: Editing the Code of Life

  • Speaker
  • Jennifer A Doudna, Ph.D.Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Date & Time

About Simons Foundation Lectures

Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
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The gene-editing tool CRISPR is transforming biology. The tool allows researchers to quickly and easily alter strands of DNA at precise locations within a living organism’s genome. Studying the underlying chemical mechanisms that sever strands of RNA and DNA provides a foundation for the conceptual and technological development of CRISPR.

In this lecture, Jennifer Doudna will present the history, development and potential applications of CRISPR-Cas9, a tool inspired by bacterial immune systems. She will discuss how CRISPR-Cas9 can enable advances in both fundamental biology and medical science, such as in the fight against HIV, sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy. She will also examine the ethical challenges posed by CRISPR applications.

About the Speaker

Doudna is a professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2012, she and colleagues presented the breakthrough study introducing CRISPR-Cas9 to the world. Doudna is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a foreign member of the Royal Society and has received many other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Heineken Prize, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the Japan Prize. She is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.

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