Dr. Feng Zhang, from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, discusses how instead of taking prescription pills when you are sick, soon you may be able to opt for genetic ‘surgery’—using genome editing technology to add, subtract or modify sequences in the genome as one would text in a word processor. Genome editing recently made news when it was used in HIV treatment to disable a gene in immune cells, allowing them to become resistant to HIV infection. But now there’s a faster and easier technology for researchers to accomplish such feats, known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats).
Dr. Feng Zhang is at the forefront of CRISPR development, which have been used to edit the genomes of tobacco, rice, fruit flies, worms, mice, rats, pigs, and even monkeys, faster than ever before. CRISPR is also being explored as a way to change the genomes of humans with cystic fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson’s, and other diseases. Join Dr. Zhang as he discusses this exciting and cutting edge technology.
The Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus provides a forum where Members and staff can interact directly with preeminent researchers responsible for important scientific discoveries. Many of the stunning advances, made possible by NIH funding, highlighted in these presentations have led to improved understanding of the cause, treatment, and prevention of human disease.