Research assistant Yinan Kan received the Beatrice Z. Milne and Theodore Brandenburg Award for his thesis research on the mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in human cells. Recent development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology has revolutionized genome editing in all organisms. Yinan’s studies revealed that in human cells two different mechanisms are used for genome editing depending on the type of donor DNA. His research will facilitate the development of technology for precise genome editing in human cells.
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics Graduate Fellow Cory J. Knoot is a recipient of the 2015 Dr. Marvin and Hadassah Bacaner Research Award. Cory studies the catalytic and regulatory mechanisms of non-heme iron enzymes that activate molecular oxygen for reaction with organic substrates. He uses a combination of X-ray crystallographic, spectroscopic and kinetic methods to solve the crystal structure of two short-lived species formed during the reaction of a ring-cleaving enzyme with molecular oxygen and the organic substrate. His studies provide novel insights into a reaction mechanism that have eluded researchers for nearly four decades.