What you'll learn

  • Explain the way in which CRISPR can be used as a tool to edit genes

  • Analyze how CRISPR can be used to optimize microbes for the food, health, and energy industries

  • Compare the use of CRISPR in agriculture when optimizing crops with other applications

  • Recommend guidelines for an ethical use of CRISPR by considering the ethical implications CRISPR genetic manipulation raises as the technology is developed

  • Articulate the various ways in which CRISPR can be used to combat cancer

Course description

With the potential to revolutionize agriculture and treat genetic diseases, CRISPR promises to create change in essential areas that were previously ignored within the disruptive tech.

The CRISPR: Gene-Editing Applications online short course from Harvard’s VPAL is an introduction to the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) gene-editing technology, and its potential application across various industries. 

This course provides you with an insight into the fundamental principles of gene-editing and how CRISPR functions as a gene-editing tool. During the eight weeks, you’ll be introduced to the significant ways in which CRISPR could be applied to healthcare, agriculture, food, and energy industries.

You’ll gain an understanding of the disruptive potential across multiple industries, as well as the ability to better communicate your company’s biotech innovations to decision makers.

Course Outline

Basic principles of molecular biology 

CRISPR and genetic engineering

Treating genetic diseases

Promoting resistance to infectious diseases

Combating cancer through research and treatment

Optimizing and fighting microorganisms: The food, health, and energy industries

Improving agriculture: Optimizing crops

The ethics of using CRISPR


Director of Undergraduate Research and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
Postdoctoral Fellow and Teaching Assistant, Harvard University

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Learn foundational concepts in genetics and gain new insight into the rapidly evolving field of genomics.

Registration Deadline