For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

Last year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Jennifer Doudna and Emanuelle Charpentier for the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 technique. How does this gene editing technique work? Which ethical questions does it provoke?

Detail Summary
Date 20 January 2021
Time 20:00 -21:00

In the past decade, gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 has been developed at a rapid pace. CRISPR-Cas9 makes it possible to precisely adjust tiny pieces of DNA and therefore it is being developed with the goal to cure genetic diseases. Due to its broad applicability in gene editing, this technology will most likely be used in medicine in the future. Therefore it is highly probable that it will affect the whole population – and of course, this brings up a lot of ethical questions.

On the occasion of the Nobel Prize award for CRISPR-Cas9, the Women in the Faculty of Science – Student Chapter and the BètaBreak present a panel discussion about this gene editing technique and the ethical questions surrounding it. Additionally, the panel investigates the role of women in science.



About the BètaBreak

The BètaBreak is a monthly science platform of the Faculty of Science of the UvA. Every month different experts are invited to speak about the latest developments in science. Former editions discussed themes such as cultured meat, nuclear energy and psychedelics. The BètaBreak seeks to analyse various scientific topics from an interdisciplinary perspective. The platform has had the honour to welcome guests as Robbert Dijkgraaf, Eric Verlinde and Nobel Prize laureate Ben Feringa. For more information, go to:

About the speakers:

Jeantine Lunshof works as philosopher and ethicist in the field of genomic sciences and biological engineering where disruptive technological innovations call for epistemological and normative exploration; she was an eyewitness of the earliest developments of CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Lunshof is a member of the Faculty of the Harvard Center for Bioethics and teaches Conduct of Science at the Division of Medical Sciences at HMS. Jeantine was awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (2013-2015) for the study of conceptual and normative questions in systems biology.

Wen Wu has obtained both her BSc and MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Wageningen and Research. In March 2016, she started her PhD research in the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University. During her PhD, she studied type V CRISPR-Cas systems. In particular, she studied the molecular mechanism of type V CRISPR-Cas systems, and how they function as an adaptive immune system in bacteria against viruses. Wu is part of the Faces of Sciences (formed by the KNAW and NEMO-Kennislink), where Phd students blog about science.

Pernette Verschure obtained her MSc in Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam and her PhD at the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Nijmegen. She received several prestigious personal career-fellowships and -scholarships (NWO-PULS, -VIDI, -Meervoud, KNAW). Presently, she is Associate Professor and group leader at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) at the UvA. Furthermore, she is setting up a national research consortium to further develop epigenetic editing using the CRISPR-dCas9 platform as a key technology to make it widely applicable for science, and potentially for therapy monitoring and or co-treatment.

Register for this event

You can attend this event on Wednesday, January 20th at 20.00 via Zoom:

Would you rather follow it on YouTube? The livestream will start at 20.00 on our YouTube channel: