Breaking News Lecture

Gene correction in human gametes and embryos for the prevention of heritable diseases?
Shoukhrat Mitalipov, PhD

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, will give this year’s Breaking News Lecture. The topic of the lecture will be “Gene correction in human gametes and embryos for the prevention of heritable diseases?” Dr. Mitalipov just published to worldwide attention in the media a paper in Nature that described the first successful therapeutic genetic editing of human embryos afflicted by a single gene mutation that causes an inherited form of cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Mitalipov’s team used a gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 to correct the genetic error at the 1-cell stage of the embryo by injecting CRISPR-Cas9, literally at the time of fertilization of the egg.

“We are very pleased to announce Shoukhrat Mitalipov, PhD, who has been a friend and collaborator for many years, has agreed to be this year’s Breaking News Lecturer on the important topic of correcting the germline in human embryos to prevent inheritable diseases,” says Norbert Gleicher, MD, President of the Foundation of Reproductive Medicine, a not-for-profit research foundation organizing the conference. “Though clinical applications of gene editing are still years away, and many regulatory hurdles will have to be overcome before any of that can happen in the United States, we applaud Prof. Mitalipov and his colleagues on this amazing achievement, which also created the perfect opportunity for our annual Breaking News Lecture,” Dr. Gleicher said in a press release announcing the Breaking News Lecture.

Dr. Mitalipov is a Director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He is also a Professor in the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at Oregon National Primate Research Center, OHSU. Dr. Mitalipov earned his PhD degree in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology from Research Center for Medical Genetics, in Moscow, Russia. He came to Utah State University in 1995 to conduct his postdoctoral research in stem cell and developmental biology and moved to OHSU in 1998.

Dr. Mitalipov’s research interest is to understand the mechanisms of cytoplasmic control of nuclear genome identity and reprogramming of somatic cells to the totipotent and pluripotent states. Another objective is to develop novel germline gene therapy approaches for the treatment of inherited human diseases. Dr. Mitalipov is known for his leading discoveries in producing human patient-matched embryonic stem cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer. His team has also pioneered a gene therapy approach that prevents transmission of genetic defects in mitochondrial genes from mothers to their children.

See Dr. Mitalipov’s CV