Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Professor, Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco

Jonathan Weissman, PhD studies how cells ensure that proteins fold into their correct shape, as well as the role of protein misfolding in disease and normal physiology. He is also widely recognized for building innovative tools for broadly exploring organizational principles of biological systems. These include ribosome profiling, which globally monitors protein translation, and CRIPSRi/a for controlling the expression of human genes and rewiring the epigenome. Dr. Weissman is a professor at the University of California San Francisco and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of Scientific Advisory Board for Amgen and co-director of the Innovative Genome Initiative of Berkeley and UCSF. Dr. Weissman has received numerous award including the Beverly and Raymond Sackler International Prize in Biophysics (2008), The Keith Porter Award Lecture from the American Society of Cell Biology (2015) and the National Academy Science Award for Scientific Discovery (2015).


Controlling Gene Expression with CRISPRi and CRISPRa
We have developed a robust technology, based on catalytically dead CRIPSR-Cas9 variants, for reversibly turning on (CRISPRa) or off (CRISPRi) the expression of any gene. I will discuss applications of CRISPRi/a for understanding disease mechanisms, defining drug targets, and treating disease by reversibly regulating gene expression without permanently altering patients’ DNA.

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