NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Feng Zhang Engineers Protein to Enhance DNA Editing
NYSCF – Robertson Investigator Dr. Feng Zhang pioneered technology to edit DNA. The system he created, CRISPR/Cas9, means scientists can now study disease, cures, and cellular functions by quickly and easily manipulating genes. Dr. Zhang, The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, published a paper in Science that investigates engineering the genome editing protein, Cas9. While the CRISPR system has proved revolutionary for scientists to study our cells, researchers have struggled with its ability to edit unintended stretches of DNA, preventing clinical application. In engineering Cas9, Dr. Zhang’s lab created a protein that reduces “off-target” effects of this breakthrough technology that lifts the entire field of biomedical research.
(Photo: Len Rubenstein, courtesy of Broad Institute Communications)