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The CRISPR-Cas9 Method – One of the Most Important Recent Discoveries in the Life Sciences

Prof. Dr. Dr. H. c. mult. Emmanuelle Charpentier to hold this year’s Einstein Lecture Dahlem on October 25

№ 255/2018 from Oct 02, 2018

Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, a pioneer in the molecular biosciences, is the guest speaker at this year’s Einstein Lecture Dahlem on October 25, 2018, at Freie Universität Berlin. She will speak about the transformation of the life sciences through the study of bacteria and the discovery of the so-called CRISP-Cas9 method, where she made significant contributions. This method makes it possible to change the genetic code of a living cell. The lecture will be given in English. Admission is free. RSVP by October 20: www.fu-berlin.de/einsteinlectures.

Emmanuelle Charpentier has received numerous prestigious awards, including eight honorary doctorates, for her pioneering research on bacterial regulatory mechanisms and the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 method. More than a dozen international science academies have chosen Charpentier as a member. In 2015, Time magazine ranked her among the 100 most influential people in the world. In professional circles she is considered to be a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Emmanuelle Charpentier began her scientific career by studying biochemistry, microbiology, and genetics at Pierre and Marie Curie University and the Pasteur Institue in Paris. She held postdoctoral positions in New York and Memphis (USA). Later she conducted research in Sweden, Austria, and Germany. Since 2015 Charpentier has been the director of the Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in Berlin. As of this year, she heads the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, which is currently being set up.

Emmanuelle Charpentier’s research focuses on how bacteria regulate processes of infection and immunity. She was instrumental in discovering a bacterial defense mechanism – the CRISPR-Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) system, which has evolved into a genetic engineering tool that can be used to selectively manipulate DNA sequences. Using so-called “gene scissors” can be compared with a word processing program. The gene scissors can cut the DNA strand at a defined location, correct spelling errors in the genetic code of living cells, or delete, insert, or replace whole sentences and thus affect the gene activity of the treated cells.

The Einstein Lectures Dahlem, hosted by Freie Universität Berlin since 2005 in partnership with several external institutions, are dedicated to the epoch-making work of Albert Einstein. Einstein was the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics for almost two decades. Since 2017, this first-rate interdisciplinary colloquium is hosted in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, the successor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The lectures are held in Dahlem, a district in Berlin that is traditionally a center of scientific research. They address a broad academic public and cover various scientific disciplines influenced by Einstein’s thinking.

Time, Location, and Registration

October 25, 2018, 6 p.m.
Freie Universität, Henry Ford Building, Garystraße 35, 14195 Berlin

RSVP: www.fu-berlin.de/einsteinlectures

Presse Contact

Freie Universität Berlin, Office of News and Public Affairs, Email: presse@fu-berlin.de

Further Information


Freie Universität Berlin: Sophie Bahrs, International Affairs, Email: sophie.bahrs@fu-berlin.de

Max Planck Society: Dr. Susanne Kiewitz, Public Relations, Email: susanne.kiewitz@gv.mpg.de