Walter Isaacson, a bestselling biographer, and the Leonard A. Lauder Professor of American History and Values in Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts, will debut his new book – The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race– during a Zoom webinar at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 15. Trivia Frazier, PhD, a Tulane alumna and president and CEO of Obatala, will moderate the discussion. Tulane President Michael A. Fitts will introduce Isaacson and Frazier to the virtual audience. The event is free, but registration is required to participate. Please click here to register. Copies of Isaacson’s book will be released on March 9 and are available for pre-order at Garden District Book Shop and Octavia Books.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race centers around American biochemist Dr. Jennifer Doudna, who is considered one of the prime inventors of CRISPR, a system that can edit DNA. The book provides a gripping account of how she and her colleagues launched a revolution with CRISPR technology that will help cure diseases, fend off viruses and result in healthier babies.
Doudna helped discover one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.
“The extraordinary work by Dr. Jennifer Doudna with CRISPR for the development of a gene-editing tool is both game-changing and timely given the current pandemic.”
- Walter Isaacson
Doudna, along with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, received the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for their work on the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors.
“The extraordinary work by Dr. Jennifer Doudna with CRISPR for the development of a gene-editing tool is both game-changing and timely given the current pandemic,” said Isaacson. “This new book will tell the story about this revolutionary invention that will transform the human race.”
Isaacson, who is also co-chair of The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, is the acclaimed biographer of numerous bestsellers, including Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography. He is also the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.
Frazier, the moderator of the webinar, completed her undergraduate training in physics and biomedical engineering through a dual degree program between Tulane University and Dillard University. She received her graduate training in the Biomedical Science Program from Tulane’s School of Medicine and obtained her MBA from Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Frazier has over 15 years of training and research experience in the isolation, culture, expansion and characterization of adherent stromal/stem cells from adipose tissue and bone marrow. She has been in various management positions for the past seven years.
Founded in New Orleans, Obatala is a biotechnology company that offers research-enabling products and brainpower to scientists in industry and academia to advance tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.