Erik Sontheimer is Professor in the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI) at UMass Medical School. After completing his Ph.D. at Yale and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, he joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1999, where he studied pre-mRNA splicing mechanisms and RNA interference. In 2008 his laboratory also began working on genetic interference in bacteria. Among other advances, they provided the first demonstration that CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) can target DNA, as well as the first explicit recognition of crRNA’s potential for gene targeting in eukaryotes. He has received the Nestlé Award from the American Society of Microbiology as well as election to the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2014 he moved to the RTI and also co-founded Intellia Therapeutics.
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