Prather Lecture Series

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, Department of Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Innovative Genomics Institute, to give 2018 Prather Lectures,

May 15, 16, & 17, 2018

 

Jennifer Doudna, 2018 Prather Lecture Series As an internationally renowned professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley, Doudna and her colleagues rocked the research world in 2012 by describing a simple way of editing the DNA of any organism using an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria. This technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, has opened the floodgates of possibility for human and non-human applications of gene editing, including assisting researchers in the fight against HIV, sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy. Doudna is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, and has received many other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Heineken Prize, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the Japan Prize. She is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation”, a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.

 

Tuesday, May 15
5:30-6:30pm
Science Center Hall B, 1 Oxford Street
Free and open to the public

CRISPR-Cas Gene Editing: Biology, Technology and Ethics

Gene editing with CRISPR technology is transforming biology.  Understanding the underlying chemical mechanisms of RNA-guided DNA and RNA cleavage provides a foundation for both conceptual advances and technology development. I will discuss how bacterial CRISPR adaptive immune systems inspire creation of powerful genome editing tools, enabling advances in both fundamental biology and applications in medicine. I will also discuss the ethical challenges of some of these applications.

 

Wednesday, May 16
12:00-2:00pm
Science Center Hall B, 1 Oxford Street
Free and open to the public

The CRISPR-Cas Toolbox for Genome Editing

Genome editing with CRISPR technology is transforming biology.  CRISPR-Cas9, an RNA-guided enzyme with remarkable abilities to recognize and cleave DNA, operates by mechanisms that both explain its biological function and provide insights into technology development. I will discuss research into this amazing family of proteins: where they came from, how they work and how Cas9-based technologies are revolutionizing research, biomedicine and agriculture.

 

Thursday, May 17
12:00-2:00pm
Science Center Hall B, 1 Oxford Street
Free and open to the public

DNA Integration and Detection by CRISPR-Cas RNA-Guided Proteins

DNA integration and RNA-guided gene editing by CRISPR-Cas enzymes occur as part of a natural bacterial adaptive immunity. I will present recent insights into both the adaptive and protective steps of CRISPR immune systems. I will also describe how understanding fundamental molecular mechanisms reveals both evolutionary insights and avenues for gene editing and genome manipulation by these remarkable enzymes.