BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UC Berkeley Extension and the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) announce the launch of a practical training on CRISPR and genome editing. CRISPR is infiltrating nearly every crevice of biology, leading to new discoveries and surprising applications. The fast pace of this technology captures news headlines daily, leaving the public to wonder how CRISPR will impact their lives. Understanding the reality of CRISPR's impending impact on the real world requires experienced biologists and other professionals whose business is deeply rooted in this technology.
This four-part series includes a lecture and lab where professionals are immersed in learning the latest applications, ethics and policy considerations surrounding CRISPR biology and the use of CRISPR-Cas9 as a tool for genome editing.
“Genome editing will increasingly affect our daily lives so it’s crucial that we bring people into the conversation sooner rather than later,” says Dr. Jennifer Doudna, Executive Director at IGI. “This course falls perfectly in line with the IGI’s educational mission to empower diverse audiences with reliable resources. I’m excited that we’ll be able to offer this learning opportunity to the local community. What better place to learn about CRISPR than at UC Berkeley?”
Just last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued yet another patent to the University of California (UC), the University of Vienna and French biologist Emmanuelle Charpentier that covers methods of modulating DNA transcription using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. This patent is the fifth in UC’s swiftly growing CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio. Five additional applications have received notices of allowance and are expected to be issued as patents in the coming months, solidifying UC Berkeley as the birthplace of this groundbreaking technology.
“We are excited to be partnering with IGI to bring UC Berkeley's CRISPR expertise to the public,” says Dr. Sharon Doyle, UC Berkeley Extension director for the Sciences, Mathematics and Biotechnology division. “This is a unique opportunity for anyone interested in genome-editing technology to learn directly from scientists actively conducting CRISPR research.”
The lecture course will include presentations from 11 IGI scientists and will be moderated by an experienced Extension instructor. Participants will study topics such as CRISPR immunity, genomics and sequencing technology, DNA repair, and genome editing safety and accuracy.
A separate, optional laboratory course guides students through hands-on CRISPR protocols, both in vitro and in vivo.
“We designed the course to be of interest to all students considering careers in scientific research or medicine, as well as active researchers who want to learn to perform CRISPR in the laboratory,” Dr. Doyle continues. “The courses are also perfectly suited to professionals in business or law who regularly interact with colleagues in life sciences research. We plan to bring these various professionals together to answer questions, spark new ones, and elevate the public's knowledge and interest in genome-editing technologies.”
To learn more about this exciting series, visit extension.berkeley.edu/static/crispr. The lecture runs July 24–August 14; the laboratory will be held July 29–August 15. Enrollments are now being accepted.
UC Berkeley is actively looking for industry partners to sponsor this course and future courses that are designed to broaden the reach of CRISPR to the scientific and academic community. If your company is interested in learning more about our industry partner program, please contact Darek DeFreece at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About UC Berkeley Extension
Founded in 1891, UC Berkeley Extension is the continuing education branch of the University of California, Berkeley. Today, Extension offers more than 2,000 courses each year, including online courses, along with more than 70 professional certificates and specialized programs of study. Free and low-cost public events are also frequently held as part of Extension’s service to the local community.
About Innovative Genomics Institute
The Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) is a non-profit, academic partnership between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco that supports collaborative research projects across the Bay Area. The IGI’s mission is to develop and deploy genome engineering to cure disease, ensure food security and sustain the environment for current and future generations. As pioneers in genome editing, functional genomics and other cutting-edge technologies, IGI scientists continuously push the boundaries of science.