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Genome editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna visits UH Hilo; Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai hosts reception, lecture, and private dinner

The lecture was the first of the Rose and Raymond Tseng Distinguished Lecture Series at UH Hilo. The series is supported by an endowed fund started by UH Hilo Chancellor Emerita Rose Tseng.

Marcia Sakai, Jennifer Doudna and Rose Tseng at dinner table with lava wall background.
(Left to right) Following Prof. Doudna’s lecture, UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai hosted Prof. Doudna and UH Hilo Chancellor Emerita Rose Tseng for a private dinner at Hilo landmark Ken’s House of Pancakes. Photo by Bob Douglas/UH Hilo Stories, click to enlarge.

Jennifer Doudna, professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, gave a lecture titled “CRISPR Systems: Nature’s Toolkit for Genome Editing” on Monday at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Jennifer Doudna on stage at podium.
Jennnifer Doudna gives lecture at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center on Sept. 17, 2018. See more photos of lecture.

Doudna gained international renown when she and her colleagues at UC Berkeley were the first to develop the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology that enables scientists to edit the DNA of any organism. Based on a naturally occurring process used by bacteria to fight viruses, the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) system provides scientists with a tool to make precise changes to the DNA of the genes, thereby modifying the function of cells in specific ways.

This visit was a special homecoming for Prof. Doudna. She was born in Washington, DC, and moved to Hilo with her parents when she was seven years old. She is a 1981 graduate of Hilo High School. Her father, Martin Doudna, was an English professor at UH Hilo, and her mother, Dorothy Doudna, taught history at Hawai‘i Community College.

Rose and Raymond Tseng Distinguished Lecture Series

The lecture was the first of the Rose and Raymond Tseng Distinguished Lecture Series at UH Hilo. The series is supported by an endowed fund started by UH Hilo Chancellor Emerita Rose Tseng.

Before the talk, Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai hosted a reception for Prof. Doudna and Chancellor Emerita Tseng. Photos by Bob Douglas, click to enlarge.

Jennifer Doudna and Rose Tseng.
(L-R) Prof. Doudna and Chancellor Emerita Rose Tseng.

Following the talk, Interim Chancellor Sakai hosted Prof. Doudna and Chancellor Emeritus Tseng at a private dinner at Hilo landmark Ken’s House of Pancakes.

 

About the photographer: Bob Douglas is a local artist, photographer, and sometimes part-time student who volunteers his photography skills to the Office of the Chancellor and UH Hilo Stories.

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