MAY 31, 2018 12:00 PM PDT

Cas9-Based Genome Engineering

C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
      Alejandro (Alex) Chavez, M.D., Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University. His research group strives to push the boundaries of genetic engineering by developing new methods with which to modify and regulate genomes. To date, his lab has generated methods for performing targeted gene activation or repression, developed some of the first synthetic inheritance-biasing elements (gene drives), created techniques for simultaneously generating hundreds of mutant cells, each with a programmed genetic alteration, and constrained evolution through the development of an in vivo mutation prevention system. Dr. Chavez applies these tools either within his own laboratory or in collaboration with others to gain fundamental biological insights with a particular focus towards understanding neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.


    I will discuss three novel technologies that our laboratory has developed in recent years. In the first part of the talk, I will describe our work on engineering variants of the RNA-guided endonuclease, Cas9, for the selective control of gene expression. I will then share our method for endowing Cas9 with single-nucleotide specificity and describe how it can be used to generate an in vivo mutation prevention system. Finally, I will outline a novel technology for the simultaneous generation of hundreds of mutant cells, each with a defined genetic alteration (point mutation, deletion or insertion), as well as methods for tracking the fitness of all generated mutants within a single experiment.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Current methods for Cas9-based transcriptional activation
    2. Strategy to endow Cas9 with allele specificity
    3. Describe our novel approach to generating and tracking the fitness of hundreds of mutant cell lines within a single experiment

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