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PhD Project - Nanomedicine & Molecular Biology Lab, Univesity of Pisa

Project Title: Nanotransducers in gene therapy

Supervisor: Vittoria Raffa

Application deadline: 29th May 2019

Project description:  The most significant genetic tool of the 21st century concerns targeted genome editing using engineered nucleases. Among these, the most commonly used is CRISPR/Cas9 technology that, by means of an RNA guide (g-RNA), recognizes specific genomic sequences and induces double strand breaks (DSBs). Despite its therapeutic potential, CRISPR/Cas9 system is considered not yet mature for clinical applications, because of potential off-target activity, e.g. unspecific cuts of the genomes. In this scenario, nanomedicine will be used to give both temporal and spatial control over gene editing to switch off gene expression at specific times in specific tissues. This technology would bring: i) improvement of safety; ii) treatment of multi-genic diseases; iii) non-viral delivery of editing components. From a scientific and technological point of view, accomplishment of these objectives will pave the way for new horizons and opportunities in the treatment of solid cancer tumors through the achievement of unmatched safety level for the development of effective genome therapeutics.

Keywords: gene editing, nanoparticles, zebrafish model

NOTE: grant reserved to students who have graduated from foreign (non-Italian) universities
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