The Department of Biotechnology, Brainware University organized a Webinar on CRISPR-Cas9 Based Gene Editing Technology led by Dr. Saumik Panja, Research Scientist and Assistant Biosafety Officer, University of California on November 15, 2021 from 10:45 - 11;45 IST. It was an open session and was a great success among the students with 119 of them in attendance.
The students were very pleased to be exposed to the cutting-edge ideas presented to them by Dr. Panja in a simple and concise manner. From the overwhelmingly positive reviews presented in the feedback forms, it was clear that the students thought the workshop would both help broaden their intellectual horizons and make them job-ready for their eventual careers. CRISPR is a genetic engineering technique in molecular biology by which genomes may be edited in vivo and as expected, this threw up a lot of questions among the students. The ethical repercussions about gene editing were the subject of much interest among the students, and Dr. Panja drew out some of the more revolutionary uses of the CRISPR gene editing process, chief among them the ability to treat inherited genetic diseases as well as diseases arising from somatic mutations, eg. cancer. The bioethical concerns regarding genome editing were also addressed by Dr. Panja as he stressed the good that science could do for humanity if used properly.
"It was such an excellent session. Dr. Panja presented a very technical topic in a lucid and engaging way to our students, and it was clear from the liveliness of the Q&A session that not only did the students manage to follow the presentation, but their desire to know had been ignited," said Dr. Samrat Paul, the moderator for the event.