Feng Zhang Discusses CRISPR and Future of Gene Editing in Interview in Human Gene Therapy

New Rochelle, NY, March 13, 2017—A significant patent court decision on CRISPR-related genome editing research ruled in favor of the Broad Institute/MIT for key inventions by the laboratory of Feng Zhang, PhD, who discusses the importance and future development of CRISPR in an interview published in Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development website until April 13, 2017.

Feng Zhang, PhD, Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, spoke with James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor of Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, in the interview entitled “Jurassic Park, Gene Therapy, and Neuroscience.” Their in-depth conversation focuses on Dr. Zhang's early life in China, education in the U.S., and fascination with science in general and specifically genetics, neuroscience, and understanding neurological diseases.

Dr. Zhang recalls how his graduate research in optogenetics led to a desire to learn how to manipulate gene expression and DNA in individual cells to be able to study genetic mutations. He discusses his early research using a variety of gene editing tools including CRISPR. Dr. Zhang describes ongoing improvements to CRISPR-based genome editing systems and the potential therapeutic impact of more precise and efficient methods for manipulating DNA that are now in development. CRISPR technology has been broadly regarded as having the potential to revolutionize gene therapy in the coming years.

“What Feng has accomplished in his young career is truly amazing. I was fascinated to learn about events in his childhood that stimulated his interest in science,” says Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development Editor James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. “This interview provides a glimpse into a true pioneer in one of the most exciting areas of biomedical research.”