Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

CEO and Founder, GenexGen; Director, Tomorrow Life Initiative

Samira Kiani’s career is built around her passion for applying the CRISPR technology to synthetic biology. She has demonstrated multiple transformative innovations with CRISPR, including modulatory circuits that precisely control gene modulation. She has been working in the area of genetic engineering since 2010 in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), when zinc finger nucleases and Tale Nucleases were introduced for genome engineering in human somatic and stem cells. In 2013, she started to work with the CRISPR technology while pursuing her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Ron Weiss (MIT).

During her postdoctoral years, she established collaborative projects with pioneers of the field of CRISPR, including Dr. George Church’s lab (Harvard) to further advance CRISPR technology. She then started her lab an Assistant Professor in the school of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, she has established her own independent research program to with an interest to develop safer and controllable CRISPR-based gene therapies. Recently she has moved to University of Pittsburgh as an Associate professor of Pathology. She is the receipt of a number of grants from DARPA and National Institute of Health and has recently been selected as American Association for Advancement of Science Leshner Leadership Fellow for Public engagement of science. She serves in the organizing committee of multiple CRISPR and Synthetic Biology conferences and has contributed to a number of important publications in the field. She is the cofounder of SafeGen Therapeutics, a startup with the goal of generating safer CRISPR based gene therapies through immunomodulation.

In addition, Dr. Kiani is co-producing a documentary film titled The Human Game about the future of humans in the era of genomics. She directs “”, an initiative with a mission to expand public engagement with science through connecting scientists and people with stories with filmmakers.

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