CRISPR-Cas - from evolution to revolution

Ten years ago major discoveries at the level of comparative genomics and molecular microbiology have demonstrated that CRISPR-Cas is a heritable adaptive immune system in bacteria and archaea. Initial biochemical analysis revealed that the mechanism of CRISPR-Cas systems is generally based on RNA-guided DNA interference. Moreover, CRISPR guides have successfully been designed to alter their specificity, meaning that any DNA sequence can be targeted by CRISPR-associated (Cas) nucleases.

Organised by 100 years WUR

Thu 8 March 2018 14:00

Venue Aula of Wageningen University & Research, Generaal Foulkesweg 1, 6703 BG Wageningen

These key findings have initiated a revolution in both fundamental and applied research. Basic discoveries include the exploration of the natural diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems and the characterization of structure-function relations of CRISPR-associated proteins and RNA guides. Repurposing of the Cas proteins has led to the spectacular development of a range of applications in biotechnology and medicine. In this Symposium, four speakers will address different aspects of the CRISPR-Cas research: evolution, mechanism, genome editing, and ethics.


  • Prof. Eugene Koonin, Professor of Evolutionary and Computational Biology, National Center for Biotechnology Information and National Institutes of Health, Bethesta, USA - On the origin of CRISPR-Cas
  • Prof. John van der Oost,  Professor of Microbiology & Biochemistry, Wageningen University & Research – CRISPR-Cas – from RNA to R&D
  • Prof. Niels Geijsen, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht - Gene editing with a pinch of salt
  • Annelien Bredenoord, Professor of Ethics of Biomedical Innovation, University Medical Center Utrecht – Why we should (not) modify the human germline

Unfortunately, the registration is full, you can still sign up for the waiting list or find more information on the KNAW website: