A toolkit of CRISPR based approaches for large scale perturbation of genes enable identification of biological mechanisms drug targets


Large scale genetic screens provide the ability to systematically study how genes are regulated in normal development and how they are deregulated during disease progression. However, cost, labour and the requirement for specialized equipment limit the use of arrayed screening approaches. Recent technological advances and reduction in sequencing costs are enabling cost efficient high-quality pooled genome wide CRISPR screens. Specifically, using modified versions of Cas9 we are able to systemically evaluate the effect of suppressing or over-expressing all known human genes. This seminar will discuss the pros and cons of different types of CRISPR mediated gene perturbation and application of these technologies towards understanding and targeting of cancer. Although this seminar will focus on understanding and targeting cancer these approaches could be used as a general strategy to study gene function.

Speaker Biography:

Joseph (Sefi) Rosenbluh is an early career researcher who has made major contributions in functional cancer genomics and our understanding of how b-catenin signalling promotes cancer. After completing his PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel he moved to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT as a postdoctoral fellow and later as an instructor of medicine. Sefi has recently joined the faculty of Monash university and in addition to heading a research lab he directs a new functional genomics platform at the Hudson Institute. His recent focus has been on developing CRISPR technologies for loss of function screens, and applying these techniques in gastric, breast and colon cancer. In total, he has authored 26 research publications, many of which are influential publications in journals such as Cell (3 papers), Cell Systems, Nature Genetics and Nature Communications.