10 Mar

I was able to learn many new things about gene-editing and its potential as a therapeutic tool against congenital diseases and cancers. The CRISPR Classroom course, CRISPR Foundations, instructed by Dr. Kristina Tatiossian, Ph.D. [LinkedIn tag], was a wonderful experience where I gained significant insight into one of science’s most revolutionary biotechnologies: CRISPR Cas9 Gene Editing.

When I enrolled in the course in the closing days of 2021, I would detour on a new educational journey outside of Berea College’s curriculum to increase my foundation of knowledge in biotech. In a previous post, My New Year’s Aspirations 2022, I stated that I wanted my educational pursuits to go beyond Berea College’s curriculum and to learn more biomedical science related things. This resource, CRISPR Classroom, was one of them.

At just $70 upon enrollment, the class is a ten hour long course (in total, start to finish), which is relatively short for any class, but students will definitely learn a lot. Even if one believes that they are sufficiently knowledgeable of CRISPR Cas9 to waive the CRISPR Foundations course—as I had once naively believed—it is still highly recommended to enroll anyway, because anyone can certainly learn a lot about CRISPR.

Furthermore, the class is sectioned into several parts, some lengthier than others, which allow students to explore CRISPR from its discovery to its biotechnological and therapeutic applications. Those sections are: The CRISPR/Cas9 Revolution, which discusses the discovery of the CRSIPR system in a bacterial adaptive immune system and its discoverers; Designer Gene Editing, which looks into the potentials of the biotechnology as a DNA editing tool; New and Engineered Cas Variants, which looks at the CRISPR toolbox and metagenomics; CRISPR Applications, which looks at the example of Sickle Cell Anemia being treated/cured via this biotechnology; and Science Commercialization, which looks into how scientific discoveries can be patented and commercialized by researchers and organizations.

And then of course, there are the introduction and conclusion, and the final test, which is composed of fifty comprehensive questions about CRISPR Cas9 and all other content learned. One must pass the final test with a 90% or higher to receive their Certificate of Completion (students are given limitless attempts).

I received mine on March 9, 2022 when I completed the test with a 92% on the third attempt. 

Altogether, I feel as though I learned a great amount of content, not just about CRISPR Cas9 gene-editing, but about its applications, laboratory methods, the processes of patenting biotechnologies and commercializing them, and some insight into the process of research, which is very valuable. 

As an undergraduate student, I would recommend this to any high schooler passionate about biology and/or medicine, or any fellow undergraduate pursuing a biological science degree or professional medical degree. Moreover, this course is perfect for the aspiring biomedical Ph.D. who wishes to learn more about gene-editing therapeutics.

* The email will not be published on the website.