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Special Colloquium | Office of the Director

Reading and Editing Genomes

Director’s Special Colloquium

Abstract: For reading genomes, we developed methods for next-generation fluorescent sequencing by synthesis, nanopore sequencing, and in situ methods. For editing genomes, we discovered technologies to make libraries of millions of 200-mers on chips, plus catalysts — TALENs, CRISPR, MAGE. We have combined reading and editing to recode whole genomes to make organisms resistant to most (or potentially all) viruses — as well as efficiently incorporate non-standard amino acids and biocontainment.

Bio: George M. Church, Ph.D. 84, is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute and director of PersonalGenomes​.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence and dramatic cost reductions since then (down from $3 billion to $600), contributing to nearly all next-generation sequencing” methods and companies. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications — including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme disease and malaria.