UNC Launches CRISPR Screening Facility
Drug Discovery Initiative powered by the Eshelman Institute for Innovation brings new technology to campus
Story by Kelly Collins | Published September 10, 2022
In 2012, a revolutionary new way to edit genes was unveiled to the world – CRISPR. Since then, the technology has been named as a “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science and has expanded to be applied to targeted epigenome editing.
Now, this exciting technology is available on campus as a result of a pan-university therapeutic strategy that has expanded the drug discovery infrastructure at UNC-Chapel Hill. The only one of its kind in the southeast, the CRISPR Screening facility will enable rapid whole genome screening for new drug targets.
Funding for the facility was made possible by a collaboration between the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. In addition, the facility received an equipment grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center as well as a generous gift from Vaughn and Nancy Bryson, both 1960 alumni of the pharmacy school.
“I am thrilled to bring this modern genetic and epigenetic facility to UNC’s laboratories,” said Nate Hathaway, PhD, who serves as director of the CRISPR Screening Facility and associate professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “While we opened the facility not long ago, the demand for facility use is high, with many scientists across campus excited about the potential for using the CRISPR technology to advance their research.”
The Drug Discovery Initiative is a cross-campus collaboration with the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the School of Medicine, and the Vice Chancellor for Research to bring more value to the therapeutic discoveries made at UNC.