Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. — co-inventor of what some are calling the biotech innovation of the century, a discovery that could revolutionize how we treat and cure disease — will present the OHSU Foundation’s 2016 Tanabe Address in Portland this fall.
Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California-Berkeley, published research in 2012 that detailed a gene-editing technique showing how scientists can alter any organism’s DNA. The monumental discovery, and further development of the technique, offers scientists hope that they may one day be able to rewrite flawed genes in people. It offers the promise of new drugs, new treatments for disease and possibly even the eradication of some inherited diseases.
But the discovery also comes with profound ethical questions. And Doudna has been a leading figure in encouraging a public scientific debate about further study and development of the technique — called CRISPR-Cas9 — and whether it should ever be used to alter a human embryo. “Through dialogue and sharing of information, we as a society can find a consensus on how to use CRISPR technology appropriately for the benefit of all humankind,” Doudna said.
Doudna’s Tanabe address, “Rewriting the Language of Life: Impacts and Challenges of DNA Editing,” will be presented at:
7 p.m., October 11
1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the OHSU Foundation website.
This is the second Tanabe lecture sponsored by the OHSU Foundation.
The Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Address was established to offer differing perspectives on important topics. The lecture features national and international speakers who can bring diverse ideas to the community and encourage a free exchange of ideas. Dr. Calvin Tanabe, now a retired neurosurgeon, graduated from the OHSU School of Medicine in 1964. He was an associate professor at OHSU until 1980 and received the OHSU department of neurological surgery’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. Dr. Mayho Hung Tanabe graduated from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo in 1967. She completed a residency at the OHSU School of Medicine in 1970, and practiced anesthesiology at Emanuel and St. Vincent Hospitals in Portland.