University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Francisco recently announced the launch of the Innovative Genomics Initiative (IGI) to advance genome editing research and technology. In addition to its scientific goals, the IGI strives to enable the widespread use of next-generation genome engineering technologies by facilitating access to knowledge and reagents, and developing research collaborations with academic and industrial communities.
Announcement about the Initiative
At the core of the initiative is a revolutionary technology discovered two years ago at UC Berkeley by Jennifer A. Doudna, executive director of the initiative and the new faculty chair. The technology, precision “DNA scissors” referred to as CRISPR/Cas9, has exploded in popularity since it was first published in June 2012 and is at the heart of at least three start-ups and several heavily-attended international meetings:
“Professor Doudna’s breakthrough discovery in genomic editing is leading us into a new era of possibilities that we could have never before imagined,” said Li Ka-shing, chairman of the Li Ka Shing Foundation. “It is a great privilege for my foundation to engage with two world-class public institutions to launch the Innovative Genomics Initiative in this quest for the holy grail to fight genetic diseases.”
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