Seven years ago, Rachel Haurwitz finished her last day as a student in the University of California laboratory where she helped conduct some of the pioneering research on the gene editing technology known as CRISPR, and became employee number one at Caribou Biosciences, a company founded to commercialize that research.
In those seven years, the market for CRISPR applications has grown tremendously and Caribou Biosciences is at the forefront of the companies propelling it forward.
Which is why we’re absolutely thrilled to have Haurwitz join us on stage at Disrupt SF 2019.
Haurwitz studied under Caribou Biosciences’ co-founder Jennifer Doudna — one of the scientists who discovered CRISPR’s gene editing applications — and Caribou was formed to be the conduit through which the groundbreaking research from the Berkeley lab would become products that companies could use.
Short for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats”, CRISPR works by targeting certain sequences of DNA — the genetic instructions for the development and reproduction of all organisms — and then binding them to an enzyme that cuts the specific sequence.
Once edited, researchers can add or simply delete pieces of genetic material, or change the DNA by replacing a segment with customized code designed to achieve specific functions.
There are few industries that CRISPR doesn’t have the power to transform. Already, Caribou Biosciences technology is being used at Intellia, which is developing therapies based on CRISPR technologies (Haurwitz is a co-founder). And that’s just the beginning.
Caribou’s chief executive thinks of her company as a platform for developing technologies in therapeutics, research, agriculture and industrial biology.
Already, CRISPR technologies are being used to biologically manufacture chemicals, replace pesticides and fertilizers, and provide cures for rare diseases once though impossible.
“Any market with bio-based products will be changed by gene editing,” Haurwitz has said.
At SF Disrupt Haurwitz will talk about the implications of that transformation, and what’s ahead for the company that’s leading the charge in this genetic revolution.
Tickets are available here.