Over the past decade, the easily programmable genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 has tremendously advanced our understanding of fundamental biology and expanded strategies for curing diseases.
This DeCal aims to introduce students to both (1) the principles and mechanisms of various CRISPR technologies and (2) their biomedical applications in different contexts of human biology. The first part includes protein-guided nucleases, CRISPR-Cas9, diverse CRISPR-Cas systems, CRISPR screen, and catalytically dead/impaired Cas nucleases as RNA-guided DNA/RNA-targeting platforms. The second part discusses delivery strategies of genome editors, therapeutic case studies of CRISPR in cancer immunology and regenerative medicine, as well as ethical and regulatory issues around human genome editing.
Instead of a final exam, the class ends with student presentations of primary research literature using CRISPR technologies to understand/treat human diseases. Attending 10 out of 11 lectures is required to pass the class, but excused absence can be granted for situations such as occasional conflict with exams of the other class and illness.
By the end of the course, we hope students will understand the mechanisms of CRISPR technologies, critically evaluate their uses in different contexts, and acknowledge the challenges ahead of this field.
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