Jennifer A. Doudna – From Bacterial Adaptive Immunity to the Future of Genome Engineering

Doudna_9629_HiRes-7-2Glassman Lecture
“From Bacterial Adaptive Immunity to the Future of Genome Engineering”

Jennifer A. Doudna, University of California, Berkeley; Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Friday, July 1, 2016, 8 – 9pm
Lillie Auditorium
Lectures are free and open to the public.

Introduction by Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Group Leader, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus

Lecture Abstract:

The advent of facile genome engineering using the bacterial RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9 system in animals and plants is transforming biology. I will present a brief history of CRISPR biology from its initial discovery through the elucidation of the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme mechanism, providing the foundation for remarkable developments using this technology to modify, regulate or visualize genomic loci in a wide variety of cells and organisms. These results highlight a new era in which genomic manipulation is no longer a bottleneck to experiments, paving the way to both fundamental discoveries in biology, with applications in all branches of biotechnology, and strategies for curing human genetic disease. Recent results regarding the molecular mechanism of Cas9 and its use for targeted cell-based therapies will be discussed.

Jennifer Doudna is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences as well as Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Prof. Doudna’s research seeks to understand how RNA molecules control the expression of genetic information. Her research led to insights about CRISPR-Cas9-mediated bacterial immunity that enabled her lab and that of collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier to re-design this system for efficient genome engineering in animals and plants, creating a transformative technology that is revolutionizing the fields of genetics, molecular biology and medicine. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. She is a recipient of awards including the NSF Waterman Award, the FNIH Lurie Prize, the Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Princess of Asturias Award (Spain), the Gruber Prize in Genetics, the Massry Prize, the Gairdner Award, the Nakasone Prize, the Heineken Prize and the L’Oreal-UNESCO International Prize for Women in Science.

About the Glassman Lecture:

The Glassman Lecture is held in honor of the late Harold N. Glassman who left a generous bequest to the MBL which resulted in the establishment of the Harold N. Glassman fund, the income from which is used to support an annual Friday Evening Lecture on an important topic in biological research.