Title

Utilizing Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats Associated Protein 9) as a Genetic Engineering Method to Treat Pulmonary Epithelial Cells from Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis

Presenter Information

Matthew Howerton

Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Major

Chemical Engineering with Biochemical Engineering Emphasis

Research Advisor

Westenberg, David J.
Shannon, Katie

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder primarily caused by deletion of three nucleotides within the gene encoding for the ion channel protein CFTR which allows for the passage of chloride ions across epithelial cell membranes classified as delta-F508. Individuals with CF have shorter life expectancies predominantly due to complications in the respiratory system by the thinning of airway surface liquid (ASL) where chronic infections occur along with cardiopulmonary structural damage. Recently genetic engineering has leaped forward with the advancement of Cas9, a prokaryotic immune defense mechanism against bacteriophages, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease enzyme. My project goal is to produce and embed CFTR within the membranes of cultured CF respiratory epithelial cells. This requires genetically engineering a guide RNA for Cas9 to target and remove delta-F508 while simultaneously inserting a functional CFTR DNA sequence. Optimistically, pulmonary CFTR expression by Cas9 will be used as a medical treatment for CF patients.

Biography

Matthew Howerton is a sophomore with the goal of entering graduate school to obtain his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. His motivation to treat cystic fibrosis originates from the memory of his unforgettable and loving cousin, Rebecca Shively.

Research Category

Research Proposals

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

15 Apr 2015, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 15th, 1:00 PM Apr 15th, 3:00 PM

Utilizing Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats Associated Protein 9) as a Genetic Engineering Method to Treat Pulmonary Epithelial Cells from Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis

Upper Atrium/Hall

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder primarily caused by deletion of three nucleotides within the gene encoding for the ion channel protein CFTR which allows for the passage of chloride ions across epithelial cell membranes classified as delta-F508. Individuals with CF have shorter life expectancies predominantly due to complications in the respiratory system by the thinning of airway surface liquid (ASL) where chronic infections occur along with cardiopulmonary structural damage. Recently genetic engineering has leaped forward with the advancement of Cas9, a prokaryotic immune defense mechanism against bacteriophages, an RNA-guided DNA endonuclease enzyme. My project goal is to produce and embed CFTR within the membranes of cultured CF respiratory epithelial cells. This requires genetically engineering a guide RNA for Cas9 to target and remove delta-F508 while simultaneously inserting a functional CFTR DNA sequence. Optimistically, pulmonary CFTR expression by Cas9 will be used as a medical treatment for CF patients.