Chicago, April 24 (CNA) French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier, a joint winner of the 2016 Tang Prize for Biopharmaceutical Science, gave a keynote speech at the 2017 Experimental Biology meeting (EB 2017) in Chicago Sunday.
Her presentation, titled "The bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 system: a game changer in genome engineering," attracted a large audience, including many academics, experts, researchers and overseas Taiwanese scholars.
During the speech, Charpentier said that last year when she was in Taiwan for the Tang Prize award ceremony, she was pleased to expound on the new applications of CRISPR/Cas9 at several well-attended academic forums.
Charpentier and Americans Jennifer A. Doudna and Feng Zhang (張鋒) shared the 2016 prize for biopharmaceutical science for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9, a genome editing tool that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit DNA, using a technique that has the potential for a wide range of applications.
Charpentier, who holds a Ph.D. from the Max Planck Institute, has won countless other prizes for the development of the powerful "GPS-like" CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tool which is faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous genome editing techniques.
Since 2012, some 1,000 laboratories around the world have adopted the genome editing platform to conduct experiments in cell biology and genetic engineering.
At the EB conference, the host Chien Shu (錢煦), a bioengineer and member of Taiwan's Academia Sinica, paid tribute to Charpentier for her contribution to the development of CRISPR/Cas9 as a breakthrough genome editing platform that promises to revolutionize biomedical research and disease treatment. All three winners of the 2016 Tang Prize for biopharmaceutical science have earned international acclaim for their achievements and are seen as having a good chance of winning the Nobel Prize. They are all scheduled to give Tang Prize Award lectures, which started with Charpentier's presentation at the EB in Chicago.
Later this year, Zhang will address the annual meeting of the Foundation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), which is aimed at promoting the ideas of Tang Prize winners in the international community, according to Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川).
Doudna, meanwhile, has been invited to deliver a lecture at the 2018 EB in San Diego, Chern said.
The EB is an annual meeting of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring scientific societies and many guest societies.
(By Timothy Hwang and Evelyn Kao)