Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture: Jennifer A. Doudna, “CRISPR Biology and Biotechnology: The Future of Genome Editing”

Friday, November 16, 2018
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

This annual award and lecture, endowed in 1990 by chemist Glenn Edgar Ullyot, seeks to illustrate how chemistry, biology, and the sciences in general contribute to the public welfare.

This sold-out event will be live-streamed at sciencehistory.org/doudna.

CRISPR Biology and Biotechnology: The Future of Genome Editing

Fundamental research to understand how bacteria fight viral infections uncovered programmable proteins that detect and cut specific DNA sequences. We collaborated with Emmanuelle Charpentier’s laboratory to determine how to harness the enzyme Cas9, which is part of CRISPR-Cas adaptive bacterial immunity, to alter genomic sequences in cells. This discovery created a simple, precise, powerful, and widely adaptable technology for genome editing—changing or regulating the genetic material—in any cell or organism. Current research is exploring the diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems in microbes and developing genome editing for biomedical and agricultural applications. The ethical and societal implications of genome editing are also examined.


About the Lecturer

As an internationally renowned professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Jennifer 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 nonhuman 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 coauthor with Sam Sternberg of A Crack in Creation, a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.


Event Schedule

  • 6:00 p.m. Lecture
  • 7:00 p.m. Reception

This program is presented in partnership with the Philadelphia and Delaware Sections of the American Chemical Society, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.


More Information

For more information about this event, please contact Sarah Reisert at sreisert@sciencehistory.org or 215.873.8263.