10 November 2017Americas

LSIPR 50 2017: Feng Zhang

Name: Feng Zhang

Organisation: Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Position: Core institute member

Feng Zhang is at the forefront of the exciting area of CRISPR as a core institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

According to the institute, since joining in January 2011, Zhang has pioneered the development of gene-editing tools for use in eukaryotic cells from natural microbial CRISPR systems.

His team has shared 37,000 CRISPR plasmids with 2,093 academic and non-profit institutions across 59 countries so that those laboratories can conduct their own research.

Zhang demonstrated that CRISPR/Cas9 can be harnessed for mammalian gene-editing, according to the institute.

Since then, his lab has continued to explore the CRISPR system and develop novel technologies for disease research.

His team has successfully harnessed two additional CRISPR systems: CRISPR/Cpf1, which may allow simpler and more precise gene-engineering, and CRISPR/C2c2, a novel RNA-targeting system.

He’s also an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the James and Patricia Poitras professor in neuroscience at MIT, and an associate professor at MIT.

Zhang won the 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award, a prestigious scientific prize, for his role in the development of CRISPR technology.

In 2012, he was one of the winners of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an annual research award designed to support scientists’ biomedical research.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, where he studied chemistry and physics, and was awarded a PHD in chemistry from Stanford University.

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