Throughout his independent scientific career since 1997, Jin-Soo Kim has been developing tools for genome editing, a method now used widely in biomedical research, biotechnology, and medicine. The broad interest in this rapidly evolving and expanding technology among researchers is highlighted by the choice of genome editing as Breakthrough of the Year 2015 by Science. Genome editing in cultured cells, animals, and plants is catalyzed by programmable nucleases that cleave chromosomal DNA in a targeted manner. The Kim group has developed and improved three different types of programmable nucleases, namely, zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs), and RNA-guided endonucleases (RGENs) derived from CRISPR-Cas9/Cpf1 adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes.
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