Jonathan Gootenberg draws from fundamental microbiology to engineer new molecular tools. These tools, including the popular genome-editing system CRISPR, allow for unprecedented manipulation and profiling of cellular states in the body and have multiple applications in basic science, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Dr. Gootenberg uses gene editing, gene delivery, and cellular profiling methods to understand the changes that occur in the brain and other organs during aging, with the goal of generating new therapies for degenerative disease. Dr. Gootenberg earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and biological engineering at MIT and received his Ph.D. in Systems Biology from Harvard University, during which he conducted research with Aviv Regev and Feng Zhang at the McGovern Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is one of the first members of the McGovern Institute Fellows program, which supports the transition to independent research for exceptional recent Ph.D. graduates.
Over the past few years, CRISPR has revolutionized the life sciences. Engineered to generate targeted DNA breaks, various DNA changes can be introduced in living organisms which offer the opportunity to treat a plethora of inherited diseases. The ongoing expansions of the CRISPR toolbox supports new applications across various domains of research and medicine. This session intends to provide an informative summary of latest breakthroughs with a focus on recent achievements and potential utility at the clinical setting. The discussion will also include challenges and needs to fully appreciate the potential of this technology.