Lectures by Jennifer Doudna, professor of Biomedical Sciences at UC Berkeley, and Edze Westra, researcher at the University of Exeter. This year they respectively receive the prestigious Heineken Prize for and the Heineken Young Scientist Award, both for Biochemistry and Biophysics. Followed by a debate on the implications of CRISPR-technology.
Jennifer Doudna and Edze Westra are known for their work on CRISPR-Cas, a defense system present in many bacterial species. The potential applications of these systems may have a tremendous impact on medicine and biotechnology. CRISPR-systems allow for editing of DNA, the genetic code in humans, animals and plants. A gene causing disease could simply be replaced by a desired variant allowing for example a potentially incurable disease to be tackled, or plant breeding to be accelerated towards specified targets. This raises big ethical issues; Are scientists allowed to pursue these endeavors? Can we oversee the impact and risks of this technology? And if we decide to edit genomes, what are our ethical limits?
Attendance of this lecture is free, however registration is required. Please fill in the registration form at Wageningen University & Research website