GradImpact: Revolutionizing Treatments for Cancer and Infectious Diseases through Gene Editing

    As a member of the selective Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of California, San Francisco, Theo Roth seeks out challenging problems. Roth is currently working on his doctorate in Biomedical Sciences as part of a dual MD/PhD program and researching new treatments for various cancers and other diseases. Roth’s recent research breakthroughs resulted in a first-authored paper in the July 19 issue of Nature and coverage in The New York Times.


    Roth’s research focuses on the burgeoning field of genome editing. Research and experimentation with genome (or gene) editing is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that holds tremendous promise. Previous research focused on using viruses as carriers for the new genetic material, but that has a number of drawbacks, including difficulty pinpointing the exact spot for insertion. Roth and his co-authors, under the supervision of Alexander Marson, discovered a new way using electrical fields that speeds up the process and allows for more targeted delivery.


    This research was arduous but rewarding. Roth made his discovery by running thousands of tests. "It took time and effort to get that pipeline up and running, but once it was, we could rapidly iterate through conditions, and focus in on the protocol alterations that were yielding greater numbers of live, correctly edited cells," Roth said. To learn more about Theo’s work visit the University of California, San Francisco website.


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    Photo Credit: Noah Berger/UCSF


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