White House summit advances the ‘cancer moonshot’

Hundreds of researchers, medical professionals and industry leaders gathered together in Washington, D.C. Wednesday for a summit on the “cancer moonshot,” a program spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden with ties to critical innovations happening at UC Berkeley.

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Jennifer Doudna explained the role of basic research in tackling cancer and other diseases during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The cancer moonshot, which was established by President Barack Obama during his final State of the Union Address, aims to end cancer as it is known today. One of the key discoveries in that effort is CRISPR/Cas9 , a gene-editing technique pioneered by Jennifer Doudna, a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. CRISPR/Cas9 allows for fast, precise editing of very small portions of the genome.

Doudna met with Biden during January’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss how the technology could be used to combat various forms of cancer.

“We can harness the power of the human genome to understand disease,” Doudna tweeted at the time.

Read more about Doudna and Biden’s cancer moonshot rollout here.

Learn about Doudna’s other activities at the World Economic Forum here.

Read about Doudna and Biden’s visit to the Bay Area here.

Check out the White House’s coverage of today’s summit in D.C. here.

Dive into the ethics of gene editing here.