Join us for a thought-provoking discussion about the new gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 and how it is transforming the world of bioengineering.
Moderated by Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Radio One’s Ideas, the event will feature a keynote talk by 2016 Gairdner International awardee Feng Zhang, bioengineer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and co-developer of the CRISPR technology. A panel discussion will follow and also include
- Janet Rossant – President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, Senior Scientist at SickKids, and University Professor at the University of Toronto
- Mark Bayfield – Biology Professor in the Faculty of Science at York University
WHEN: November 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
WHERE: Design Xchange – 234 Bay Street, Toronto
TICKETS: Free, but registration is required
About the moderator
Paul Kennedy has been the host of CBC Radio’s Ideas since 1999. Paul’s interests encompass the environment, sport, travel, food, music, art and biography. His work engages what he describes as, “the core curriculum of contemporary culture.” In the course of his work, he has travelled across Canada, throughout North America, to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He has won national and international recognition for his work, including an ACTRA award for best Canadian radio documentary for a program called “War on the Home Front,” co-authored with Timothy Findley; the B’nai Brith Media Human Rights Award for a series called “Nuremberg on Trial”; and an Armstrong Award presented by Columbia University. In 2005, he was awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Special Citation for Excellence in Ocean Science Journalism for his eight-part series “Learning from the Oceans.” Paul has a BA from Queen’s University and an MLitt from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He did post-graduate work at the University of Toronto where he studied with Marshall McLuhan.
About the speaker and panelists
Feng Zhang is a McGovern Investigator and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and of Biological Engineering. He is also a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He joined MIT and Broad Institute in 2011 and was awarded tenure in 2016. He received his AB in chemistry and physics from Harvard College and his PhD in chemistry from Stanford University. Zhang has received many awards for his work in genome editing and optogenetics, including the Perl/UNC Prize in Neuroscience (2012, shared with Karl Deisseroth and Ed Boyden), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2012), the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award (2014), the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine (2014, shared with Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier), the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award (2014), the Okazaki award, the Canada Gairdner International Award (shared with Doudna and Charpentier along with Philippe Horvath and Rodolphe Barrangou) and the 2016 Tang Prize (shared with Doudna and Charpentier). Zhang is a founder of Editas Medicine, a genome editing company founded by world leaders in the fields of genome editing, protein engineering, and molecular and structural biology.
Janet Rossant is the President and Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, a Senior Scientist and Chief of Research Emeritus at SickKids, and University Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Widely known for her studies of the genes that control embryonic development in the mouse, Rossant has pioneered techniques for following cell fate and altering genes in embryos. Her current research focuses on stem cell development and cell differentiation in the developing embryo. Rossant trained at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, United Kingdom and has been in Canada since 1977. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many awards, including the 10th ISTT Prize from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, the Ross G. Harrison Medal from the International Society of Developmental Biologists, the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, and the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.
Mark Bayfield is an Associate Professor in Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science at York University. His research focuses on how conserved mechanisms in RNA metabolism function in both general cellular processes and adaptations to stress. A major research focus is the La antigen, which is an abundant, ubiquitous factor with several roles in RNA metabolism that are conserved between yeast and humans. More recently, his work has expanded into the La-related proteins and how these conserved factors also contribute to gene regulation and challenges to human health. Notably, the new CRISPR-Cas9 based genome editing tools are shaping up to become an important component of Bayfield’s future research. Bayfield received his BSc from McGill University and PhD from Brown University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.