Carnegie Mellon University

The 2017 recipient of the Dickson Prize in Science is Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna, Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry, HHMI Investigator, University of California, Berkeley.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
4:30 p.m.
Rangos 1 and 2, second floor, Cohon University Center

Reception will immediately follow the lecture.

Lecture Abstract

CRISPR Systems: Nature’s Toolkit for Genome Editing

Gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 technology is transforming biology. 

The system, which uses a protein guided by RNA that can cut and insert nucleotides into a gene sequence, was hailed as a scientific “Breakthrough of the Year” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015. The technology has found many uses in medicine, agricultural science, manufacturing and other fields.

Understanding the underlying chemical mechanisms of RNA-guided DNA and RNA cleavage provides a foundation for conceptual advances and technology development. The lecture will address how bacterial CRISPR adaptive immune systems inspire the creation of powerful genome engineering tools, enabling advances in both fundamental biology and applications in medicine. The ethical challenges of some of these applications will also be discussed.