The Gene Editing Institute is the only research institute of its kind in the nation based within a community health care system. Led by gene editing pioneer, Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., and based in Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, the Gene Editing Institute is a worldwide leader in gene editing biomedical research in cancer and other inherited diseases, and the only one working in the same space with oncologists, genetic counselors and patients, bringing translational research from basic science to patient treatment to an entirely new level.
The re-engineering of human chromosomes is taking place at a rapid rate using a recently developed molecular toolbox. Among the most important tools in the box is CRISPR/Cas9, a remarkable gene editing instrument that enables the precise and sometimes imprecise rearrangement of DNA sequences at a frequency once thought to be impossible. In fact, the rapid advancement of these genetic tools have led to an explosion in development of human therapeutics for the treatment of inherited diseases and cancer.
The Gene Editing Institute was founded in the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute in 2015 with four missions. The first, Translational Research & Technology Development, is to carry out grant-funded innovative translational research on the use of gene editing in cancer with a central focus on elucidating the transformation pathways as well as developing innovative technological approaches for studying oncogenesis.
The second mission, Educational Modules & Instructional Workshops, is to provide a focused educational resource for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty interested in understanding and learning about gene editing.
The third, Genome Customization Core Facility, is to provide a biomedical resource facility for the synthesis, hands on training, and dissemination of gene editing technologies to undergraduate institutions as well as to advanced research laboratories throughout the world.
The fourth mission, Partnerships & Commercialization, is closely related to our third mission, with the addition of having created meaningful partnerships. The Gene Editing Institute has engaged in several formal alliances and collaborative partnerships. The long-term strategy is to continue to develop novel technological advances in support of more sustainable contracts from larger clients, rather than maintain multiple clients originating primarily from universities and small biotechnology companies.