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Cas9 Technology Boom Inspires New Academic Center

March 19, 2014 | UC Berkeley—home to Jennifer Doudna, whose discovery of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system in 2012 triggered a new wave of interest in genetic engineering and gene therapy—is now dedicating substantial resources to fostering further Cas9 innovation. With a $10 million gift from philanthropist Li Ka-shing, and a partnership with UC San Francisco, Berkeley yesterday announced the Innovative Genomics Initiative (IGI), which includes a new academic space, the Li Ka Shing Center for Genomic Engineering, and a new faculty chair position for Doudna. The IGI will aim to refine the use of CRISPR/Cas9; uncover new genome-editing technologies that, like Cas9, exist naturally in bacteria; and help researchers spin off commercial companies that make use of IGI discoveries. UC Berkeley
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