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CRISPR Workshop: Beyond the Hype

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Hosted By
Ellen J.


Get started with CRISPR by learning to design guide RNAs, the crucial step in genome engineering!

Are you interested in using the latest breakthrough technology in gene modification, CRISPR-Cas9, in your projects? In this no-nonsense introductory workshop you will learn about all of the recent technical advances of this system, including Cas9 variants and how to design optimal guide RNA sequences and targeting constructs for homologous recombination using online resources to help plan your experiments. You will leave with a well-designed sequence for a guide RNA of your own choosing, ready to send out for synthesis. We’ll also dive into the societal implications surrounding the widespread adaptation of this system and the controversies involving the use of gene drives in organisms that will be released into the environment.

Please bring a laptop

NOTE: This non-laboratory workshop is a prerequisite for our upcoming CRISPR-Cas9 hands-on laboratory course, where you will safely build and test your guide RNA and targeting constructs on the genome of yeast (S. cerevisiae). This advanced course will also be a great introduction to yeast genetic engineering.


Oliver Medvedik, Ph.D.
Genspace cofounder and TED Fellow Oliver Medvedik is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Bioengineering at The Cooper Union. He received his bachelor's degree in biology from Hunter College, City University of New York. He later received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences program. His doctoral research at the laboratory of Dr. David A. Sinclair focused on using single-celled budding yeast as a model system to map genetic pathways that regulate longevity. Throughout the years, he has taught molecular biology to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students while at Harvard University, The Cooper Union, School of Visual Arts and NYU. He has also mentored six different undergraduate teams for the International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition (iGEM) from 2009-2015.

Ellen D. Jorgensen, Ph.D.
Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is co-founder and director of Genspace, a nonprofit community laboratory dedicated to promoting citizen science and access to biotechnology. In 2011 she initiated Genspace’s award-winning curriculum of informal science education for adults, and in 2014 Genspace was named one of the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education by Fast Company magazine. Ellen's efforts to develop Genspace into a haven for entrepreneurship, innovation and citizen science have been chronicled by Nature Medicine, Science, Discover Magazine, Wired, Make, BBC News, The Economist, Forbes, PBS News Hour, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times. Ellen has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from New York University, spent 30 years in the biotech industry, and is currently adjunct faculty at New York Medical College, the School of Visual Arts, and Cooper Union. Ellen’s talk ‘Biohacking- you can do it, too’ at TEDGlobal 2012 has received over a million views.

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