Exploring the benefits of the novel CRISPR endonuclease Cpf1 over Cas9 for genomic engineering

A recently developed technology called CRISPR/Cas9 allows scientists to quickly and precisely edit DNA in living cells and is about to revolutionize molecular biology and genetics. The success of CRISPR/Cas9 is based on its ease of use, effectiveness and cost efficiency. Our aim is to explore a variant of this technology, CRISPR/Cpf1, for its application in genomic engineering and potential benefits. Specifically, we want to systematically address whether CRISPR/Cpf1 can be used to manipulate any gene of interest in the genome, and whether it matches or exceeds the functionality of CRISPR/Cas9. In a second step, we aim to use this technology to improve existing cell-based production systems for biologic drugs such as therapeutic antibodies used in cancer treatment.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jason Moffat


Xiaoyu Zhang


Zim Corporation


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Information and communications technologies


University of Toronto



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