The Anne Eyes Science Lecture: Rewriting the Code of Life with CRISPR

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Anne Eyes Science Lecture presents Dr. Samuel H. Sternberg, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, in a discussion of the gene editing technology, CRISPR. Register online.

Scientists have long sought to unravel the hidden laws of nature and harness their knowledge to manipulate life. The 20th century witnessed the birth of molecular genetics—the field of biology focused on DNA and its role in heredity, genetic variation, and disease—and culminated in completion of the Human Genome Project, which decoded all 3 billion letters of the human genome. But until recently, the ability to go one step beyond reading DNA and rewrite DNA, directly in living organisms, remained elusive. Now, with a revolutionary technology called CRISPR that was discovered in a most unexpected way, we have entered a new era of precision genetic manipulation, in which diseases and cancers could be erased in patients, but so too could heritable genetic changes be engineered in human embryos. What will we choose to do with this awesome power?

Note location: Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT

This science lecture is made possible by The Anne Eyes Endowment.

Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, runs a research laboratory at Columbia University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2007, graduating summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. He earned graduate student fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, and was awarded the Scaringe Award from the RNA Society and the Harold Weintraub Graduate Student Award from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Sam's doctoral research in the laboratory of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Dr. Jennifer Doudna focused on the mechanism of DNA targeting by RNA-guided bacterial immune systems (CRISPR-Cas) and on the development of these systems for genome engineering applications. His work has been published in the journals Nature, Science, and Cell, and been covered in The New York Times, Science News, The Scientist, and various other news outlets.

Sam is an invited speaker internationally and remains actively involved in public discussions on the ethical issues surrounding genome editing. Together with Jennifer Doudna, Sam co-authored a popular science trade book about the discovery, development, and applications of CRISPR gene editing technology, which was published in June, 2017. Titled A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, their book received enthusiastic reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books and many other outlets.

Westport Town Hall
Maker Movement
Maker, Science

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