UCL Cancer Institute


UCL Clinical Prize Lecture 2019

17 December 2019, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Jennifer Doudna

A lecture on 'Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas systems: Challenges and Opportunities in a New Era of Biology' by Professor Jennifer Doudna

Event Information

Open to





Emma Hart


Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1
Gower Street

The UCL Clinical Prize Lecture 2019 will given by Professor Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley.

CRISPR gene editing is transforming biology. Fundamental research to understand how bacteria fight viral infections uncovered how the CRISPR system uses Cas proteins with RNA as a programmable guide to detect and cut specific DNA sequences. Cas/RNA complexes constitute a powerful toolkit for genome editing in animals, plants and bacteria. I will discuss research into this amazing family of proteins: where they came from, how they work and how CRISPR technologies are revolutionizing research, biomedicine and agriculture. I will also discuss the ethical challenges of some of these applications with a focus on what our decisions now might mean for future generations.

About the Speaker

Professor Jennifer Doudna

at Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley

As an internationally renowned professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley, Doudna and her colleagues rocked the research world in 2012 by describing a simple way of editing the DNA of any organism using an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria. This technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, has opened the floodgates of possibility for human and non-human applications of gene editing, including assisting researchers in the fight against HIV, sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy. Doudna is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, and has received many other honors including the Kavli Prize, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Heineken Prize, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the Japan Prize. She is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation”, a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.