Berkeley Talks: Jennifer Doudna on the future of gene editing

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Jennifer Doudna giving a lecture

Jennifer Doudna. (Screen shot from video by Roxanne Makasdjian, Stephen McNally and Tatiana Kesenci)

Jennifer Doudna spoke at UC Berkeley’s International House on Feb. 21, 2019, about the revolutionary gene-editing tool she co-invented, CRISPR-Cas9.

Our technological capacity to make changes to genomic data has expanded exponentially since the 2012 discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 as an RNA-programmable genome-editing tool. Over the past seven years, this genome-editing platform has been used to revolutionize research, develop new agricultural crops, and it even promises to cure genetic diseases. However, ethical and societal concerns abound, requiring a thoughtful and ongoing discussion among scientists and stakeholder groups.

Doudna is a professor in the College of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley and is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences. She is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018, Doudna received a Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society.

This talk was hosted by the Institute of International Studies as part of its Endowed Elberg Series. It was recorded by UC Berkeley’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Watch the video here.

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