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Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Bruce Whitelaw “We Have Entered the Era of Rewriting the Genome”

About the event

Join WSU in welcoming Bruce Whitelaw, PhD, the world-renowned leader in genetic editing of livestock as the featured speaker for the Vice President for Research Distinguished Lecture Series to be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 in PACCAR Room 200/202. Whitelaw was a member of the team that cloned Dolly, a sheep that was the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. Dr. Whitelaw’s research and scientific advocacy efforts focus on policies governing genetic engineering of food animals. Dr. Whitelaw was one of the external reviewers of WSU’s Functional Genomics Initiative (FGI) proposal that was funded.

Abstract: Animal breeders’ continued ability to produce healthier and productive animals relies on identification and subsequent use of a genetic variation that is currently present in farmed animal populations. Sophisticated numerical tools now exist to aid in selecting desired animal traits for optimal breeding, but selection is limited to the variation already established in a given animal population. With the development of genome editing technology, scientists can now use otherwise impossible-to-access genetic variations, making it easier to choose the desired DNA sequence and introgress this into an animal to use for future breeding.

Dr. Whitelaw‘s goal is to apply this technology in animal biotechnology, specifically to develop new ways to combat infectious disease in animals, enhance overall reproductive efficiency, and explore opportunities to develop new treatments for disease. He is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to solve agricultural problems in sub-Saharan Africa.

RSVP not required to attend. Reception to follow.