This Cafe Scientifique webinar will be held online via Zoom. Contact [email protected] to obtain Zoom link information.

Seating: Zoom Event

The gene-editing revolution; CRISPR technology, present and beyond with Dr Valentina Migliori of The Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge.

This Cafe Scientifique webinar will be held online via Zoom. Contact [email protected] to obtain Zoom link information.

Since its discovery in a bacterial immune system, CRISPR-Cas9 has been adapted into a powerful genomic tool. Formed by two components, a DNA cutting protein (Cas9) and an RNA molecule known as the guide RNA, the CRISPR-Cas9 complex can identify and cut genomic DNA sequences at targeted locations. Best known for its ability to knock out or replace specific genes via these targeted cleavages in the genome, scientists are now extending the range of biological questions that can be tested with CRISPR/Cas9. Recently, it has been used to turn gene on and off and to visualise where specific DNA sequences are found in a cell. CRISPR technology has been awarded the chemistry Nobel Prize in 2020 for its revolutionised impact on gene editing research, but the potential we have seen so far can be only considered the tip of the iceberg, thinking at how it might be able to treat many genetic diseases in a not so distant future.

After graduating in Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Bologna (Italy), Valentina did her PhD at the University of Singapore, where she discover a new epigenetics crosstalk under the supervision of Prof Ernesto Guccione. She then moved to Cambridge to pursue her postdoctoral work in Prof Tony Kouzarides’ lab developing techniques and reagents to profile new RNA modifications and study their role in epitranscriptomics. She was a Fellow in King’s College, Cambridge from 2013 to 2019 and she is now a Staff Scientist at the Sanger Institute, where she researches and develops new gene editing techniques.