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Although we are excited to have our fellows back on campus and working in Byerly Hall, Harvard Radcliffe Institute programs remain primarily virtual as we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Events & exhibitions
event • Lectures

Making Pig-to-Human Transplantation a Clinical Reality with CRISPR Genome Editing

  • Friday, December 13, 2019
  • Knafel Center
    10 Garden Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
Luhan Yang talking in front of a podium
Luhan Yang from the talk, "Making Pig-to-Human Transplantation a Clinical Reality" Photo by Kevin Grady

Xenotransplantation is a promising strategy to address the shortage of organs for human transplantation. Concerns about pig-to-human immunological compatibility and the risk of cross-species transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) have impeded the clinical application of this approach.

Using CRISPR-Cas9, we inactivated all the PERVs in a porcine primary cell line and generated PERV-inactivated pigs via somatic cell nuclear transfer. Our study highlights the value of PERV inactivation to prevent cross-species viral transmission and demonstrates the successful production of PERV-inactivated animals to address safety concerns in clinical xenotransplantation. Using our genome editing platform, we are creating pigs with advanced immunological modifications to address immunological and functional compatibility issues.

This event is part of the Gene Editing Science Lecture Series and the Unknown and Solitary Seas Gallery Series.

Event Video

Luhan Yang talking in front of a podium

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