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Dr. J. Keith Joung

ECU Burroughs Wellcome Lecturer to Discuss Genome Editing for Disease Treatment

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 3, 2013) — East Carolina University’s Department of Biology soon will host the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. On Oct. 17, Associate Chief of Pathology for Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School Dr. J. Keith Joung will present, “Editing Genes to Understand and Treat Disease.”

Joung will discuss his group’s latest technological developments in genome editing and their research and potential therapeutic applications at 12 p.m. in the Science and Technology Building, room C307. A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation.

“Dr. Joung is a leading expert in developing technologies for genome editing, methods that enable the alteration of any gene sequence in living cells and organisms,” said Dr. Yong Zhu, ECU associate professor of biology and coordinator for the Burroughs Wellcome Lecture. “His lab pioneered the development of publicly available methods for engineering zinc finger nucleases, proteins important for practicing genome editing technology.”

Recently, Joung has developed newer technologies that can be practiced easily by any interested researcher and have enormous research and therapeutic applications.

“His group also has begun to explore the use of these targeting strategies to induce enhanced expression or silencing of any desired gene of interest,” said Zhu.

Joung is the Jim & Ann Orr Massachusetts General Hospital Research Scholar and has received several distinguished awards, including the prestigious National Institutes of Heath Director’s Pioneer Award. Currently, he serves as an elected member of the American Association of University Pathologists. Joung received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his PhD degree in genetics from Harvard University.

This lecture is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome fund, which allows influential scientists in biology and chemistry to visit campus and present to the public their research in the areas of basic and applied science.

For additional information, contact Zhu at 252-328-6504, or by email at zhuy@ecu.edu. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.