SEP 24, 2014 02:00 PM PDT

Development and Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 for Genome Editing

  • Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research; W. M. Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering, MIT

      Feng Zhang joined the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a core member in January 2011, combining technology development and application to study the role of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying diseases specifically of the nervous system. Along with Jennifer Doudna, George Church, Keith Joung and David Liu, Zhang is a co-founder of Editas Medicine.
      As a graduate student at Stanford, Zhang worked with Karl Deisseroth to invent technologies for dissecting the functional organization of brain circuits. He served as a Junior Fellow at Harvard and did postdoctoral research using synthetic biology to study gene activity during brain development. At the Broad, Zhang takes a synthetic biology approach to understand the development of neuropsychiatric disease, is developing novel genome editing technologies including CRISPR aimed at developing specialized animal models. Zhang is also an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.
      He is a recipient of the Perl/UNC Prize in Neuroscience, the NIH Director's Pioneer award, and the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman award. He has also received technology innovation awards from the McKnight and Damon Runyon foundations, and the International Society for Transgenic Technologies. He received his A.B. in chemistry and physics from Harvard College and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.

    The RNA-guided nuclease Cas9 from the microbial CRISPR adaptive immune system has emerged as an exciting tool for precise genome editing in eukaryotic cells. This presentation will discuss the technical development as well as current and future applications and challenges.

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