Berkeley Earth & Planetary Science Professor Jillian Banfield will lead an initiative that uses CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to develop new disease therapies. Prof. Banfield will guide the new Innovative Genomics Initiative's microbiology program in an effort to harness CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to tackle the planet's major crops and poorly understood microbiomes questions. This initiative was launched two years ago as a partnership between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, with plans to invest $125 million in gene editing for agriculture and microbiology in the next five years.
Journalist Robert Sanders recently covered this initiative in an article in Berkeley News.
Prof. Banfield's work has uncovered an amazing diversity of life applicable to earth and environmental sciences. She hopes to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tools to learn how microbes live and interact and, ultimately, to uncover ways to nurture beneficial microbes and, conversely, surpress harmful ones.
For the full-length article in Berkeley News, please click here.