Washington Update

Tang Prize Recipient Feng Zhang Gives Address at Experimental Biology 2018

By: Todd Bentsen
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Experimental Biology 2018 wrapped up yesterday in San Diego. One of the largest conferences focusing on the life sciences, it is hosted by five FASEB member societies – American Association of Anatomists, The American Physiological SocietyAmerican Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society for Investigative Pathology, and The American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.

On the first day of the conference, attendees heard a compelling scientific talk by Feng Zhang, PhD (pictured on the left), a recipient of the 2016 Tang Prize for Biopharmaceutical Science, along with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, for their work in CRISPR technology.

The Tang Prize, first awarded in 2014, recognizes outstanding contributions in sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of law. On behalf of the Tang Prize Foundation, Dr. Shu Chien of the University of California, San Diego, introduced Dr. Zhang to conference attendees.

Conference attendees of Experimental Biology 2018 at Dr. Zhang’s lecture.

Already a leader in the field of optogenetics, Zeng has more recently worked to optimize CRISPR technology – specifically the Cas9 system in human cells – which allows genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at certain locations in the genome. This technology holds the promise to revolutionize biomedical research and disease treatment.

Dr. Zhang is an associate professor and investigator at McGovern Institute for Brain Research, both at MIT, and Core Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. At the conclusion of his scientific presentation, Dr. Zheng gave some compelling advice to attendees, many of them junior scientists and postdoctoral trainees. “Find your mentor, treasure your relationship, and it will get you far,” Zheng said. “Those mentors want to help you accomplish your dreams.”

Experimental Biology 2019 will be held in Orlando, Florida, April 6-10, 2019.