CRISPR in Drug Discovery 2023: Bringing together the genome engineering community

Now in its fifth year, ELRIG’s CRISPR in Drug Discovery: From Targets to Therapeutics event has become an annual highlight of the genome engineering community. With a comprehensive programme, the meeting will explore:

  • The use of genome engineering in the identification of novel drug targets through large-scale CRISPR-based functional genomics studies.
  • Effective methods for developing advanced cellular and in vivo disease models for target validation.
  • The pioneering applications of CRISPR/Cas9 in therapeutic genome editing.


Taking place at the King’s Centre in Oxford from 7-8 February 2023, the free-to-attend event will bring together a panel of world-renowned scientists and researchers from across academia and industry, providing the perfect setting to network, learn and foster collaborations.

If you wish to keep up with the latest developments in this area and gain insights into how you can increase your chances of success with your drug discovery research, you can’t afford to miss CRISPR in Drug Discovery: From Targets to Therapeutics. Keep reading to find out why and hear directly from our keynote speakers Professor Bart De Strooper and Professor Jonathan Weissman.

Keep up with the latest developments in CRISPR/Cas9 technology for drug discovery

It’s well known that CRISPR/Cas9 has become a standard in gene editing laboratories. As the technology improves, researchers will be able to enhance drug discovery processes, to help bring new therapeutics to the patients who need them, faster and more efficiently. But keeping up with developments and new applications of the technology is easier said than done.

That’s why, we’re bringing together more than 12 expert speakers, who will share their latest research, the challenges they encountered and how to overcome them, as well as product updates. This way, you can keep abreast of all the latest developments, in one place, and even better, speak directly to, and ask questions of, those who are at the cutting edge of the field.

Such experts you can learn from and connect with include our fantastic keynote speakers, Jonathan Weissman, Professor of Biology at the Whitehead Institute, and Bart De Strooper, the founding director of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), who were happy to give us a sneak peek as to what you can look forward to at CRISPR 2023.

“CRISPR really does have a broad range of applications, and it’s imperative that we as a community share our learnings with one another,” stated Jonathan. “We’re using single-cell approaches for monitoring cell state and CRISPR to effect targeted perturbations to enable information-rich exploration of biological processes. Currently, we’re focusing on two applications: systematic discovery and gene function, and tumour evolution.” Jonathan went on to highlight why this is so important, “Ultimately, systematic information rich CRISPR screening approaches are propelling druggable target identification and discovery.”

It’s the sharing of developments such as this that will continue to enable the development of therapeutics for diseases that cannot yet be treated. The work at UK DRI is also revolutionising drug discovery.

“I’m very excited to be presenting at CRISPR 2023 and sharing the latest updates from our research” said Bart. “We’ve developed a mouse-human chimeric model for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This is a crucial step toward drug discovery and development for AD, as mouse neurons do not develop the complete spectrum of the disease pathology from amyloid plaques. With the model, we’ve been able to perform an in vivo screen for all human kinases.”  He went on to explain how Cas9 technology has been used in their research, “A Cas9 inducible system has been used in the transplanted neurons and screened with a lentiviral vector library of suitable guide RNA’s. Our work is ongoing, but we will share our first results.”

Register today to secure your place to see Bart and Jonathan on the 7th and 8th of February, respectively.

Discuss the challenges that need to be overcome and look to the future

While keeping abreast of the latest advances, achievements and learnings is key to helping advance your own research, it’s also important to acknowledge and discuss the challenges that need to be overcome to fully realise the potential of CRISPR/Cas9.


“I think it’s important that we don’t overhype CRISPR/Cas9 in the same way that we’ve seen with gene therapy. We need to further build our knowledge base and give many approaches a chance”, Bart shared. “Help with identifying and de-risking drug targets is already underway, but using the technology for genome editing or gene modification in diseases seems, to me, still a bit futuristic. We need more research in animals to see what the implications and risks are before moving to in-man.”


When researchers share what they see being the hurdles to using technologies like CRISPR/Cas9 in new applications, we can start to see where efforts may be focused over the next five years. “When it comes to CRISPR/Cas9 in drug discovery, I suspect we’ll see the biggest developments in the integration of human genetics and functional genomics approaches.” Jonathan explained. “This will allow us to turn the insights provided by human genetics into actional targets and guide the development of precision medicine.”


Share your research and help advance your career

When it comes to choosing a career in academic research or industry, the best source of information and advice is peers from across the sector. By networking at face-to-face events, such as CRISPR 2023, you can share experiences with peers and learn from seasoned professionals, no matter what stage you’re in.

Whether you are a graduate, or a decade into your career and looking to step into a managerial role, growing your network and making connections could help you not only decide how you’d like your career to develop, it could also help you take the next step.

Making the most of opportunities, such as submitting posters and presenting your work at events like CRISPR 2023 can help get you and your research noticed. ELRIG’s poster sessions are known for the high quality of work presented. It’s not too late to submit your poster for consideration by our scientific review panel, but be quick. The final date for submission is 29th January 2023.

Plant the seeds for fruitful collaborations

Networking isn’t only about career advancement. In alignment with ELRIG’s vision to bridge the gap between academia and industry, the CRISPR in Drug Discovery: From Targets to Therapeutics event will bring together academic researchers and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry professionals to exchange ideas and information. This meeting will be a great way for participants to connect with others in their field, creating potential partnerships outside of their own area of research.

Don’t miss out. Register now!

To make sure you don’t miss out on this important event, register to secure your place for free. You can find out more about the event here.