Deng Hongkui (Chinese :邓宏魁) is a Chinese immunologist and stem cell researcher. He is a Changjiang Professor, the Boya Chair Professor, and Director of the Institute of Stem Cell Research at Peking University. He was awarded US$1.9 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his research on vaccines for HIV and hepatitis C. In 2017, he and Chen Hu engineered resistance to HIV in mice using CRISPR gene editing, and for the first time used the technique on an AIDS patient.
Deng Hongkui entered Wuhan University in 1980, where he earned his B.Sc. in 1984. He then studied at Shanghai Second Medical College and earned his master's degree in 1987. In 1990, he moved to the United States to study at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1995,under the supervision of Eli Sercarz. From 1995 to 1998 he was an Aaron Diamond Postdoctoral Fellow at the New York University School of Medicine, where he conducted research under Dan Littman. From 1998 to 2001, he worked as research director of ViaCell, a stem cell biotech company based in Boston.
In 2001, Deng was awarded the prestigious Changjiang Professorship by the Chinese government, and returned to China to work at Peking University.He initially worked on treating diabetes using human embryonic stem cells. During the SARS outbreak, he conducted research on SARS treatment and vaccine. In 2006, he was awarded US$1.9 million by the Grand Challenges In Global Health initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for his research on vaccines for HIV and hepatitis C. He became Director of Peking University's Institute of Stem Cell Research in 2013 and was appointed the Boya Chair Professor in 2016.
In 2017, Deng and his collaborator, Chen Hu of the 307 Hospital, used CRISPR gene editing to transplant human hematopoietic stem cells with the edited CCR5 gene to mice, and conferred HIV resistance to the animals.They subsequently used the technique to treat an AIDS patient who suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It was the first time CRISPR was used on a human HIV patient. 19 months later, the patient's ALL was in complete remission. Their research demonstrated the safety of CRISPR for humans, although the therapy was not effective for curing AIDS as only 5% to 8% of the patient's bone marrow cells carried the edited CCR5 gene, much lower than the ideal 100%. Their findings were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September 2019.
Gene therapy is a medical field which focuses on the utilization of the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient's cells as a drug to treat disease. The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in May 1989. The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990. It is thought to be able to cure many genetic disorders or treat them over time.
Deng Nan is a Chinese politician and physicist.
A designer baby is a baby whose genetic makeup has been selected or altered, often to include a particular gene or to remove genes associated with a disease. This process usually involves analysing a wide range of human embryos to identify genes associated with particular diseases and characteristics, and selecting embryos that have the desired genetic makeup; a process known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Other potential methods by which a baby's genetic information can be altered involve directly editing the genome – a person's genetic code – before birth. This process is not routinely performed and only one instance of this is known to have occurred as of 2019, where Chinese twins Lulu and Nana were edited as embryos, causing widespread criticism.
CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections. Hence these sequences play a key role in the antiviral defense system of prokaryotes.
Yao Zhen was a Chinese biologist and oncologist. He served the first president of Asian-Pacific Organization for Cell Biology.
Dèng Guăngmíng was a Chinese historian who specialized in the 10th to 13th century Song, Jin and Liao dynasties.
Genome editing, or genome engineering, or gene editing, is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted, modified or replaced in the genome of a living organism. Unlike early genetic engineering techniques that randomly inserts genetic material into a host genome, genome editing targets the insertions to site specific locations.
Herpes simplex research includes all medical research that attempts to prevent, treat, or cure herpes, as well as fundamental research about the nature of herpes. Examples of particular herpes research include drug development, vaccines and genome editing. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are commonly thought of as oral and genital herpes respectively, but other members in the herpes family include chickenpox, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Epstein-Barr (EBV). There are many more members that infect animals other than humans, some of which cause disease in companion animals or have economic impacts in the agriculture industry.
HIV/AIDS research includes all medical research that attempts to prevent, treat, or cure HIV/AIDS, as well as fundamental research about the nature of HIV as an infectious agent and AIDS as the disease caused by HIV.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov is an American biologist who heads the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He is a well known pioneer of many nuclear transplantation studies and was named in 2013 by journal Nature as "the cloning chief". Mitalipov is also a godfather of a gene therapy, known as mitochondrial replacement therapy, that prevents inheritance of mitochondrial diseases. He discovered a new way of creating human stem cells from skin cells.
Deng Liqun was a Chinese politician and theorist who was one of the leading figures of the Communist Party of China during the 1980s, most well known for his involvement with the party's propaganda work. Deng was born in Guidong County, Hunan province, and joined the Communist Party in 1936. He came from an intellectual family and joined the party out of intellectual commitment. He was often referred to as "Little Deng", to be distinguished from Deng Xiaoping, the "Old Deng".
Stephen H. Tsang is an ophthalmologist and geneticist. He is currently an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and an Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Pathology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, New York, in the United States.
John Jin Zhang is a medical scientist who made important contributions in fertility research, and particularly in in vitro fertilization. He made headlines in September 2016 for successfully producing the world's first three-parent baby using the spindle transfer technique of mitochondrial replacement. Having obtained an M.D. from Zhejiang University School of Medicine, an M.Sc. from University of Birmingham, and a Ph.D. from University of Cambridge, he became the founder-director of New Hope Fertility Center in New York, USA.
Human germline engineering is the process by which the genome of an individual is edited in such a way that the change is heritable. This is achieved through genetic alterations within the germ cells, or the reproductive cells, such as the egg and sperm. Human germline engineering is a type of genetic modification that directly manipulates the genome using molecular engineering techniques. Aside from germline engineering, genetic modification can be applied in another way, somatic genetic modification. Somatic gene modification consists of altering somatic cells, which are all cells in the body that are not involved in reproduction. While somatic gene therapy does change the genome of the targeted cells, these cells are not within the germline, so the alterations are not heritable and cannot be passed on to the next generation.
The He Jiankui affair is a scientific and bioethical circumstance concerning the use of gene-editing technique in human cases following the first use by Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who made the first genome-edited human babies in 2018. The affair led to legal and ethical controversies with an indictment of He and his two collaborators, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou.
He Jiankui is a Chinese biophysics researcher who was an associate professor in the Department of Biology of the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, China. Earning his Ph.D. from Rice University in Texas on protein evolution, including that of CRISPR, He learned gene-editing technique (CRISPR/Cas9) as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University in California.
CRISPR gene editing is a genetic engineering technique in molecular biology by which the genomes of living organisms may be modified. It is based on a simplified version of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 antiviral defense system. By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added in vivo.
Wang Buxuan, also known as Bu-Xuan Wang and Pu-Hsuan Wang, was a Chinese thermal physicist and engineer, considered a pioneer in the field of engineering thermodynamics in China. He established the engineering thermodynamics program at Tsinghua University in 1957 and the China Solar Power Society in 1979. He was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980.
Chen Hu was a Chinese military physician and stem cell researcher. He served as Director of the PLA Institute of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Research and the Beijing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy Laboratory. Known for his research on hematopoietic stem cell therapy for leukemia, he was awarded the State Science and Technology Progress Award in 2015 and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize in 2016. In 2017, he and Deng Hongkui engineered resistance to HIV in mice using CRISPR gene editing, and for the first time used the technique on an AIDS patient. He died of a sudden heart attack before their findings were published.