Dr. Marie La Russa

Stanford | Research Scientist

New frontiers in genome engineering

An exciting new tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has revolutionized our ability to edit the sequence of DNA in our cells (termed genome engineering). CRISPR tools can act like a word processor for our genome, inserting or deleting new sequences at will. They can also be mutated and turned into a molecular delivery truck that can bring proteins to specific DNA sequences to alter a cell’s epigenetic and transcriptional programs. The development of these tools provides many new possible avenues for biological research and medical treatments, but also raises many technical and ethical questions. In this talk, I will demystify how this tool works and its implications for the future of science and our society.

​Meet Dr. Marie La Russa

I’ve spent the past 10 year doing biomedical research. I grew up in San Jose, California and went to UCLA for college, where I majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and minored in French. After college, I spent a year as a research associate at Stanford University before enrolling at UCSF for graduate school. At UCSF, I was advised by Dr. Stanley Qi in the fields of stem cell biology and CRISPR-based genome engineering, and I earned my PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2017. I worked for a year as a postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Qi’s lab (now at Stanford) before becoming a research scientist there, which is the position I hold today.