Epigenome Editing Technologies for Cell Programming

The brain comprises an incredible diversity of cell types that act together to govern many complex functions. Studying these cell types in isolation, and understanding the role of epigenetic regulation in brain tissues, poses many technical challenges. Gersbach will aim to develop new technology to allow researchers to induce any epigenetic state in any cell type or tissue, and as a first application, use this technology to generate specific cell types of neurons in order to study drug response, disease, and the impact of epigenetic regulation on learning and memory.

Affiliated Investigators

Charles A. Gersbach, Ph.D.

Duke University

Charles A. Gersbach is the Rooney Family Associate Professor at Duke University in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery, an Investigator in the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, and Director of the Duke Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University where he studied new methods for applying genetic engineering to regenerative medicine. He then completed postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute where he worked to develop new genome engineering tools.  His current research interests are in developing new genome and epigenome editing technologies and applying them to understand how gene regulation contributes to development, regeneration, disease, and drug response. He is also applying these tools to gene therapy, synthetic biology, and biomolecular and cellular engineering.  Dr. Gersbach’s work has been recognized through awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, and induction as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.