Beverly Mok is a graduate student in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She is currently working in the complex field of genes and genomics focusing on genome editing in the David Liu Lab. She is also involved in the development of programmable tools to perform detailed and accurate modifications on the human genome.
Current tools do a double-stranded break which the cell may try to resolve in a way that may not be ideal. Once the break happens, the cells resolve the break in two ways. They make repairs by insertions or deletions which is not ideal. Or they supply a template DNA that undergoes homogenous DNA repair back to the original sequence to precisely repair the DNA.
Base editing is a new way of targeting and repairing faulty genes. The new genome editing techniques do not use double-strand breaks. The benefits of the base editing approach is that it facilitates precise genome editing and minimizes undesired by-products and toxicity associated with the double-strand breaks in DNA.
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Mok is participating in studies to identify possible next generation biotherapeutics and genome editing techniques that have the potential to treat and possibly cure genetic diseases like Huntington’s disease, blood cancers, and cystic fibrosis. She applies chemical biology strategies to genome editing to advance the capabilities and safety of genome-engineering proteins.
To learn more visit:
David R. Liu @davidrliu
Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C