Mathematics Department Colloquium, co-sponosred by MSRI: How CRISPR genome editing technology is changing the future of humanity

Seminar | January 23 | 4:10-5 p.m. | Bechtel Engineering Center, Sibley Auditorium

 Jennifer A. Doudna, Innovative Genomics Institute @ University of California, Berkeley & UCSF; Howard Hughes Medical Institute

 Department of Mathematics

Fundamental research to understand how bacteria fight viral infections uncovered the function of CRISPR-Cas programmable proteins that detect and cut specific DNA sequences. I will discuss how CRISPR-Cas proteins have been harnessed as a powerful technology for precision editing of genes in cells and organisms. The ability to alter the genetic information in any cell has opened up profound opportunities and challenges, including the potential to cure genetic diseases and also to understand and influence our own evolution. Current research is exploring the diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems in microbes and developing genome editing for biomedical and agricultural applications. I will discuss the ethical and societal implications of genome editing and where this transformative technology is headed.