Emmanuelle Charpentier

Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology

CRISPR-Cas9: Biological Roles, Mechanisms, and Evolution

12:00 pm, Monday 07 March 2016

Location: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Sherrington Building

Abstract: The RNA-programmable CRISPR-Cas9 system has recently emerged as a transformative technology for rapid and efficient targeted genome editing, chromosomal marking and gene regulation. In this system, the endonuclease Cas9 or catalytically inactive Cas9 variants are programmed with single guide RNAs to target site-specifically any DNA sequence of interest. The system is efficient, versatile and easily programmable. DNA targeting by CRISPR-Cas9 has been quickly and broadly adopted by the scientific community to edit and silence genomes in a large variety of cells and organisms, including human cells, plants and mice. I will discuss the biological roles of CRISPR-Cas9, the mechanisms involved, the evolution of type II CRISPR-Cas components in bacteria and the applications of CRISPR-Cas9 as a novel genome engineering technology.

Biography: Emmanuelle Charpentier obtained her PhD from the Institut Pasteur and did postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University, NYU, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hopital. She established an independent research group at the University of Vienna in 2002 and was a professor at Umeå Universitet and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research before becoming a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in 2015. Charpentier has won many prizes, including the Gabbay Award, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Louis-Jeantet Prize, the Gruber Genetics Prize, and the Massry Prize. She appears on TIME magazine’s 2015 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

For further information, please contact Fiona Woods at fiona.woods@cncb.ox.ac.uk