Principal Investigator

Jennifer A. Doudna
Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Professor of Biomedical Science

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Jennifer A. Doudna
Principal Investigator

Dr. Jennifer Doudna is a member of the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, along with the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Biographical Highlights:

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Postdoctoral Associates

Alexandra Amen
NIH Kirschstein-NRSA (F32) Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Alexandra Amen

Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) is one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer, but current therapeutic treatments are limited. My research focuses on using the gene-editing CRISPR/Cas9 system in order to first further understanding of genes underlying tumor cell immortality in GBM, and second develop in vivo delivery methods to achieve CRISPR/Cas9 editing of GBM tumor cells, with the ultimate goal of inhibiting tumor growth.

Brady Cress
NIH Kirschstein-NRSA (F32) Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Brady Cress

Diverse CRISPR-Cas systems are now known to function as integral components of the immune repertoire of many microorganisms, with the currently known catalog of systems spanning two of the three domains of life and contributing to the capacity of these bacteria and archaea to thwart viral infection. Eukaryotes conspicuously lack endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems, but it is not yet known if these molecular surveillance complexes can be co-opted to achieve therapeutically relevant inhibition of viral infection in humans through direct interference with the genomes of human viruses. While investigating strategies to improve the therapeutic potential of CRISPR-Cas components, I will also examine our ability to temporally control the editing activity of diverse CRISPR effectors.

Jennifer Hamilton
Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Jennifer Hamilton

CRISPR-Cas-based genome editing tools enable the control of gene expression in cells, tissues and whole organisms. Although invaluable for experimental studies, translation of these advances into clinical therapeutics requires delivery of CRISPR-Cas proteins and guide RNA to disease-relevant organs in the body. All current in vivo delivery strategies have drawbacks including ineffective delivery to target tissue, prolonged nuclease expression leading to off-target damage, and clearance of edited cells by adaptive immune responses. I posit that viral infection strategies can be harnessed to overcome the challenges faced by the in vivo delivery of genome editing tools. In the Doudna laboratory, I am applying my background in viral engineering to create the next-generation of CRISPR-Cas delivery vehicles and translate these technologies into therapeutics. By merging virology with bioengineering, I aim to make these revolutionary genome-based treatments accessible to all people who can benefit.

Christine He
Joint with Banfield and Cate Labs
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Fellow
Christine He

The vast majority of microbial diversity remains unexplored due to the inability to cultivate most microbes in a lab. My research focuses on a group of uncultivated bacteria called the candidate phyla radiation (CPR), which comprises over 15% of Domain Bacteria. Currently, almost no experimental characterization of CPR bacteria has been performed and many identified genes have unknown biological function. My work focuses on cultivation, biochemical characterization, and ultimately genetic engineering of CPR bacteria.

Shrutee Jakhanwal
Shrutee Jakhanwal

The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins are an RNA-guided defense mechanism against foreign genetic elements in archaea and bacteria. The first step of CRISPR immunity is acquisition, wherein foreign DNA fragments are detected and integrated into the host cell’s chromosome. The precision of this process is instrumental in maintaining the CRISPR locus and host-genome integrity due to off-target integrations. I am interested in understanding the intricate mechanisms that underline the accuracy of the adaptation process.

Gavin Knott
NHMRC Investigator Grant Awardee
Gavin Knott

The CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated proteins) systems arose in bacteria and archaea as an adaptive innate immune response to combat viral infection. In Class 2 type II CRISPR systems, the single protein effector Cas9 is guided by a CRISPR-RNA to cleave complementary target sequences within foreign DNA. With biochemical and structural data to define their molecular mechanisms, Cas9 and the Class 2 type V effector, Cpf1, have been readily employed as tools for genome engineering. However, the CRISPR-Cas systems show remarkable diversity across microbial species, with the recent identification of highly divergent class 2 single effectors that share little to no resemblance to Cas9. My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of the expanding ‘CRISPR universe’ using biochemistry and X-ray crystallography.

Tina Liu
NIH Kirschstein-NRSA (F32) Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Tina Liu

CRISPR-Cas systems are an ancient and widespread RNA-guided adaptive immune system in bacteria and archaea. My research focuses on how multisubunit Type III CRISPR-Cas complexes target transcriptionally active DNA and RNA of invading phages and plasmids. Using a combination of biochemistry and single-particle electron microscopy, I aim to uncover the mechanism of transcription-coupled target recognition by Type III complexes. Understanding how they find and destroy their targets will provide fundamental insights into RNA-guided immunity in prokaryotes, and could potentially lead to a tool that can detect or target actively expressed genes in heterologous systems, such as eukaryotic cells.

Bastian Minkenberg
IGI Postdoctoral Fellow
Bastian Minkenberg

Bastian is a postdoctoral scholar in the Innovative Genomics Institute’s agricultural genomics branch. He started working on genome-editing in the food staple rice during his time as a Beachell-Borlaug International Scholar at Penn State. He now continues his efforts to improve disease resistance and yield of crops at UC Berkeley under supervision of Drs. Jennifer Doudna and Brian Staskawicz. Bastian’s first goal during his time at the Innovative Genomics Institute is to develop tools for precise genome-editing and accelerated plant breeding using advanced plant tissue culture and CRISPR methods. Another interest of him is to develop bioinformatic tools to avoid off-target editing in plants and to increase on-target activity. As ultimate goal, Bastian tries to develop an efficient gene repair system to easily change genetic information in crops to make them healthier and sturdier.

Patrick Pausch
Patrick Pausch
Postdoctoral Scholar

CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats – CRISPR-associated proteins) systems typically provide bacteria and archaea with an adaptive immunity against foreign nucleic acids. Interestingly, many mobile genetic elements (MGEs, e.g bacteriophages and transposons) have recently been shown to possess their own CRISPR-Cas systems. Those MGE-borne CRISPR-Cas systems are believed to eliminate competing MGEs and some variants have been shown to sequence-specifically guide transposition events of their associated transposons. My research focuses on the biochemical and structural characterization of novel MGE-borne CRISPR-Cas systems, to understand their biological role and to eventually allow their translation into tools for genome editing and biotechnological applications.

Ben Rubin
NIH Kirschstein-NRSA (F32) Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Ben Rubin

CRISPR-Cas in Uncultured Microbes: The large majority of life has never been cultivated within the laboratory. This life can both be mined for new CRISPR-Cas systems and manipulated by these systems to facilitate understanding. My research focuses on the development of genetics, enabled by CRISPR-Cas, in communities of uncultured microorganisms. Secondarily, I look for new CRISPR-CAS and CRISPR-Cas-like defense systems within these same communities.

Haridha Shivram
Haridha Shivram
Postdoctoral Scholar

CRISPR-Cas enzymes are RNA-guided bacterial proteins widely used for genome editing and genetic manipulation in a wide range of cell types. Beyond correction of genetic mutations in human cells, CRISPR-Cas enzymes may have additional therapeutic value for eliminating specific bacterial species during infection. In order to realize their clinical potential, it is critical to maintain tight control over CRISPR-Cas genome editing activity to maximize editing efficiency while avoiding off-target editing. Natural inhibitors of Cas enzymes, known as anti-CRISPRs (Acrs), block Cas activity by a variety of mechanisms, suggesting the possibility of a much larger collection of CRISPR-Cas regulators that may occur across the microbial world. My aim is to identify novel mechanisms of CRISPR-Cas regulation using genomics and biochemistry.

I-Li Tan

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a deadly disease that most people with this cancer died within two years of diagnosis despite decades of research on finding more effective treatments. With the recent development of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins as easily accessible and programmable means of editing and regulating genes, I propose to directly leverage CRISPR-Cas as a therapeutic modality to eliminate GBM cells. I have two main research focuses 1) use CRISPR-Cas system to dissect mechanisms of tumorigenesis and identify therapeutic targets, and 2) develop in vivo delivery tools to target GBM stem-like cells, the main population responsible for tumor recurrence, using intracranial xenograft model of GBM.

Enrique Lin Shiao
David Colognori 
Katarzyna Soczek
Abdullah Syed
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee
Abdullah Syed
Kai Chen

Graduate Students

Basem Al-Shayeb
NSF Fellow
Joint with Banfield Lab
Emeric Charles
Joint with Savage Lab
Josh Cofsky
NSF Fellow
Joint with Kuriyan Lab
Josh Cofsky

While protein structures are commonly represented as a single set of 3D coordinates, most biological macromolecules rely heavily on conformational flexibility to effect their functions in solution. Cas effector complexes in particular undergo dramatic conformational movements during the process of RNA-guided nucleic acid targeting. I am broadly probing the energetic landscape of these dynamic interference complexes to better understand how their nuclease activity is regulated.

Marco Lobba
Joint with Francis Lab
Arturo Ortega
Joint with the Staskawicz Lab
Connor Tsuchida
Joint with Wilson Lab
Joy Wang
NSF Fellow
Hannah Karp
Hannah Karp


Enbo Ma
Senior Staff Scientist
Karen Zhu
Jen Sabo
Project Scientist
Jen Sabo
Project Scientist

I joined the Doudna laboratory with an active interest in CRISPR/Cas9 technology and its potential to cure genetic neurological diseases. My current research focus is on Huntington’s Disease (HD) which is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a genetically dominant, CAG trinucleotide expansion in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. I am interested in the development of CRISPR-RNP technology for the therapeutic reduction of mutant Huntingtin protein. I am also working on expanding the delivery of this technology to increase gene editing in the central nervous system and be applicable to other disease targets.

Jinjuan Ye
Kaihong Zhou
Lab Manager
Elizabeth Applegate
Lab Assistant
Cindy Sandoval Espinoza
Riley McGarrigle
Lab Assistant
Mohammad Saffari Doost
Lucie Bardet
Project Manager
Lucie Bardet
Project Manager
Lucie Bardet holds a Master of Science in Bioengineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Doudna Lab, Lucie worked in global operations and supervised large-scale projects and product development for biotech and healthcare companies, across four continents. She has also supported multiple startups on their operations since she moved to the Bay area. Lucie speaks four languages, is an avid backpacker, and is passionate about taking up new challenges and bringing people together, at 100 feet underwater or on top of a 23,000-foot mountain.


Undergraduate Students

Charlie Alza
Ezra Bisom-Rapp
Evelyn Chen
Noah Cheng
Rittida Herabat
Mohak Jain
Stephanie Li
Casey Mogilevsky
Araz Vartoumian
Talia Wenger
Isaac Witte
Defne Yigci
Defne Yigci
YueXin Zhang
Zeyi Zhou
Allison Bien
Sara Smith
Sara Smith

Visiting Scholars


Former Postdoctoral Associates and Lab Staff

Time In Lab
Position and Location
Elizabeth O'Brien

Bioscience Sales Specialist for Nikon, Inc.

Audrone Lapinaite

Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Fuguo Jiang

Deceased; Assistant Professor, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Jiang Lab

Kyle Watters

Senior Bioengineer, Arbor Biotechnologies

Christof Fellmann

Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Staff Research Investigator, Gladstone Institutes

Brett Staahl

Co-founder, Scribe Therapeutics

Chun-Hao Huang
Natalia Orlova

Process Development Scientist, Grifols Therapeutics

David Burstein

Assistant Professor, Tel Aviv University

Stephen Floor

Assistant Professor, UCSF

Mitchell O'Connell
Romain Rouet
April Pawluk
David Taylor

Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Zentaro Kasahara

Executive Officer, KIMICA corporation

Emine Kaya
Philip Kranzusch

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Kranzusch Lab

Nathanael Lintner

Senior Scientist, Pfizer

Yun Bai

Assistant Professor, ShanghaiTech

Steven Lin

Assistant Research Fellow, Academica Sinica

Ross Wilson

Principal Investigator, Wilson Lab, UC Berkeley

Ho Young Lee

Scientist at Genentech

Stefanie Mortimer

Senior Manager, Technology Development at Guardant Health

Aaron Brewster

Project Scientist, Berkeley Lab

Martin Jinek

Assistant Professor, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Zurich

Monika Martick

Scientist, Miroculus

Blake Wiedenheft

Assistant Professor, Montana State University

Dipali Sashital

Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Andrew Mehle

Assistant Professor, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Sandro Ataide

Lecturer, Molecular & Microbial Biosciences, The University of Sydney

Ryuya Fukunaga

Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Euiyoung Bae

Assistant Professor, Seoul National University

Karin Felderer

Associate Director /Laboratory Leader-Protein Production, MorphoSys AG

Glen Borchert

Assistant Professor, University of Southern Alabama

Si Wu
Director of Research and Development
Suzhou Elite Force Biosciences Co. Ltd.
Wendy V. Gilbert

Associate Professor, MIT

Chris S. Fraser

Associate Professor, UC Davis

Nik H. Chmiel

Staff Scientist, Bio-Rad Laboratories

Ian J. MacRae
Katrin Karbstein

Associate Professor, The Scripps Research Institute

Rich Spanggord

Senior Scientist, Baxalta, Inc.

Ailong Ke

Associate Professor, Cornell University

Li Chen

Sigma-Aldrich, Shanghai, China

Peter Adams

Research Scientist, NIH

Bidya Sagar

Service Architect,Hitachi Consulting

Jeremy M. Murray

Staff Scientist, Genentech

Benoit Masquida

Research Director, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France

Jeffrey S. Kieft
Robert Batey
Adrian Ferré-D'Amaré

Lab Head, NIH

Sonia DeMorais

Former Graduate Students

Time In Lab
Position and Location
Jorge Bardales Mendieta
Addison Wright
Lucas Harrington

Co-founder, Chief Discovery Officer, Mammoth Biosciences

Janice Chen

Co-founder, Chief Research Officer, Mammoth Biosciences

Steven Strutt

Scientist, Spotlight Therapeutics

Akshay Tambe

Scientist, Spotlight Therapeutics

Benjamin Oakes

Entrepreneurial Fellow, Oakes Lab, Innovative Genomics Institute

Kevin Doxzen

Science Media Communications Innovative Genomics Institute

Alexandra Seletsky
Spencer Knight

Data Scientist Forsite Capital

Megan Hochstrasser

Communications Manager Innovative Genomics Institute

James Nunez

Postdoc, Weissman lab, UCSF

Stephen Wilson

Postdoc, Susan Lindquist lab, MIT

Sam Sternberg

Assistant Professor, Columbia University

Mary Anne Kidwell

Consultant, Boston Consulting Group

Cameron Noland

Senior Scientific Researcher, Genentech

Mark Luskus

Freelance Marketer, Boulder Colorado

Rachel Haurwitz

President/CEO, Caribou Biosciences

Bryan Clarkson
Katherine Berry

Assistant Professor, Mount Holyhoke College

Amy Weeks

Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSF

Fai Y. Siu

Postdoc. Research Assoc., R. Stevens Lab, Scripps Research Institute

Eric M. Friedman
Adrian Repic

Resident, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Radiology

Bunpote Siridechadilok

Research Scientist, Siriraj Hospital, Thailand

Dennis Lullo

Quality Engineer II, Lifecell

Lisa Valdin

Director of Marketing Azure Biosystems, Inc

Kristi Pullen

Staff Scientist, Health Program National Resources Defense Council

Angie Grech

Global Director of Customer Success, LinkedIn Learning

Miguel Talavera

Scientist-Process Development-Attribute Sciences Amgen , Yale U.

Robert Rambo

Principal Beamline Scientist Diamond Light Source, Yale U.

Andrej Luptak

Associate Professor, UC Irvine

Lan Zhang

Principal Scientist, Merck & Co., Inc.

Daniel Battle

Asst. Professor, Ohio State University

Rebecca Hanna

Owner and Proprietor,

Elizabeth Doherty

Technical Specialist, Washington DC

Jamie Cate

Prof., UC Berkeley