MIT Broad Professor Feng Zhang at the Berkeley Forum: Harnessing Nature's Diversity for Biotechnology

Seminar | March 1 | 6-7:15 p.m. |  Anna Head Alumnae Hall (2537 Haste St.)

 The Berkeley Forum

Recent advances in genome editing technology have made it possible to modify organisms, including humans, at the genetic level with relative ease. While such developments bode well for the treatment of many previously incurable conditions, they also open the door for the creation of arbitrary modifications to the genome for aesthetic and other non-medical purposes. Such possibilities are the subject of massive controversy, with pioneers of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology recently calling for a moratorium on human genome editing until thorough discussion can take place. At the same time, researchers in China worked to modify human embryos at stages of development beyond those conventionally considered morally solvent. Professor Feng Zhang of MIT is a co-discoverer of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system, and will address the changing landscape and the way genome editing will change the world.

Professor Feng Zhang is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is known for playing a crucial role in the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 system and for applying it to artificial genome editing. His lab focuses on the application of synthetic biology to the development of genome and epigenome engineering techniques.

This event is hosted in partnership with MCBcDNA.

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