Identification of Anti-CRISPRs for Genome Editing Safety

Summer 2017

Bridget Hua Bui : Molecular & Cell Biology

Donor: Pergo Fund
Mentor: Jennifer A. Doudna

Since the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system in prokaryotes, Cas9 proteins have been used as a genome editing tool in a wide variety of organisms and promise to provide new solutions to long-standing, unsolved problems in human disease. However, despite the great potential CRISPR technology holds, concerns remain about the risk of unwanted edits in the human genome that could lead to genetic disease. Therefore, my project aims to find anti-CRISPR proteins that serve as “off-switches” for Cas9 activity to ensure gene editing safety and prevent malicious use of this tool. To achieve my goal, I will first identify potential anti-CRISPR candidates using a newly developed bioinformatics pipeline and then experimentally screen these candidates for anti-CRIPSR activity. 

I would like show my deep gratitude for Pergo Funds for making this amazing research experience possible. Most of the summer research programs do not accept international students due to a visa issue, so I feel extremely privileged to be accepted into the SURF program and supported by my donor to continue pursuing my interests. Not only did I have a great summer doing research in the prestigious Doudna Lab, I also became more determined to pursue a graduate degree after graduation.