Targeted Genome Modification Using Zinc Finger Nucleases

Michael Goldrich : Molecular and Cell Biology/Public Health

Mentor: Professor Sharon Amacher

Genetic work with model organisms, such as fruit flies, mice, and zebrafish, has provided invaluable insights into the mechanisms behind human disease and development. One tool for creating these models is direct modification of the genome. Michael is optimizing the use of reagents, called zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), in order to create specific and targeted modifications in the DNA sequence of a very genetically tractable system, the zebrafish. Using ZFNs, genes can possibly be directly targeted to express desired proteins, incorporate molecular tags, or can even be repaired by a corrected template. He will develop assays to quantify ZFN-mediated targeting and optimize conditions to improve targeting efficiency, with the goal of making this technology broadly accessible to and widely used within the scientific community.