The CRISPR Journal debuts with articles by Rodolphe Barrangou, Fyodor Urnov, et al.

February 15, 2018

The CRISPR Journal a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the publication of its groundbreaking inaugural issue. The Journal is dedicated to validating and publishing outstanding research and commentary on all aspects of CRISPR and gene editing research, including CRISPR biology, technology and genome editing, and commentary and debate of key policy, regulatory, and ethical issues affecting the field. The Journal is published bimonthly online and in print and is led by Editor-in-Chief Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD (North Carolina State University); Executive Editor is Dr. Kevin Davies. See for more information.

This press release is copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Its use is granted only for journalists and news media receiving it directly from The CRISPR Journal. For full-text copies of articles or to arrange interviews with Dr. Barrangou, Dr. Davies, or members of the editorial board, contact Kathryn Ryan ( at the Publisher. We encourage journalists to contact the named authors for information on individual papers.

Inaugural Issue Article List:

1. Keep Calm and CRISPR On [EDITORIAL]

In the inaugural editorial introducing The CRISPR Journal, Professor Rodolphe Barrangou discusses the scope and rationale of the new journal and its goal to help expand and connect the global CRISPR/gene editing community. Barrangou has held a front-row seat during the CRISPR revolution dating back more than a decade. In 2007, he was first author in a landmark study in Science that provided experimental validation for the theory of the function of CRISPR repeat sequences as a bacterial adaptive immune system. In 2017, Barrangou shared Canada's top prize, the Gairdner Prize, with four other leading CRISPR researchers.

Contact: Rodolphe Barrangou (Associate Professor, North Carolina State University; Editor-in-Chief, The CRISPR Journal), Email:

2. Genome Editing B.C. (Before CRISPR) [REVIEW ARTICLE]

While CRISPR has become almost synonymous with genome editing technology, it is important to remember that there were several other robust genome editing technologies, including zinc fingers and TALENs, developed before the application of CRISPR to gene editing in 2012-13. In a beautifully written, informative, and compelling review article, Fyodor Urnov presents the essential timeline of advances in basic research of DNA repair, using a Noah's Ark of model organisms, that have already enabled one version of genome editing to enter the clinic in the United States.

Corresponding Author: Fyodor Urnov (Altius Institute), Email:

3. An Allele for an Allele [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

There has been significant progress in the past year or two in using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to treat models for a variety of genetic diseases. Hereditary blindness is a particularly promising condition that could benefit from gene editing therapies. Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary (Harvard Medical School) led by Qin Liu report in The CRISPR Journal progress in developing a method to specifically target the mutant copy of a gene responsible for a dominantly inherited form of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which affects 1 in 3500 people. The Harvard team describe a proof-of-concept in a mouse model of RP in which they successfully targeted the mutant rhodopsin gene, with beneficial physiological results.

Corresponding Author: Qin Liu (Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School), Email:

4. Genome Editing for Batten Disease [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

Batten disease (Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) is a rare recessive neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in several genes, the most severe of which is a gene called Battenin (CLN3). Progressively worsening symptoms include retinal degeneration, epilepsy, cognitive decline leading to premature death. Writing in The CRISPR Journal, Luke Wiley and coworkers at the University of Iowa report the successful use of CRISPR-Cas9 homology dependent repair of the most common CLN3 mutation in induced pluripotent stem cells from two Batten patients. These CRISPR-corrected isogenic cell lines, say the authors, represent "a powerful step towards treatment of the vision loss and thus extension of quality of life in individuals with Batten disease."

Corresponding Author: Luke Wiley (Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research, University of Iowa), Email:

5. Francisco Mojica in Conversation [INTERVIEW]


A pivotal moment in the brief history of CRISPR research came in 2003, when University of Alicante microbiologist Francisco Mojica ran a computer search that revealed for the first time a match between one of the alternating CRISPR repeat sequences and a stretch of viral DNA. Mojica and colleagues catalogued additional sequence matches that sparked the realization that CRISPR is an adaptive immune system. In the debut issue of The CRISPR Journal, Executive Editor Kevin Davies talks to Mojica, who candidly shares the background to this discovery - one that has several Spanish media outlets speculating about a possible third science Nobel Prize for Spain.

Contact: Francisco Mojica (University of Alicante, Spain), Email:

6. Surveying the CRISPR Patent Landscape [COMMENTARY]


For the past few years, a major patent dispute has been playing out between the institutions responsible for the discovery and application of CRISPR gene editing. Law professor Jacob Sherkow is widely acknowledged as an authority in biotech patent law and particularly the ongoing CRISPR legal drama. In the debut issue of The CRISPR Journal, Sherkow surveys the recent major decisions in the CRISPR case and looks at where the field will go from here. Contact: Jacob Sherkow (New York Law School, New York), Email:

7. What a Save: Conservation and CRISPR [PERSPECTIVE]

There has been much discussion about the potential of CRISPR-based gene drives to tackle the vectors responsible for major infectious diseases such as malaria and Zika. With the notable exception of the woolly mammoth, less attention has been paid to the potential use of gene editing to help in conservation efforts around the world. As Ryan Phelan, Tom Maloney, and colleagues from the California non-profit Revive & Restore discuss in this Perspective, there are many interesting examples where CRISPR and gene editing could save endangered species, including the black-footed ferret and the Hawaiian honeycreeper.

Corresponding Author: Tom Maloney (Revive & Restore, Sausalito CA), Email:
Other Articles:

8. Shakir Cannon, Patient Advocate

A tribute to African-American sickle cell disease (SCD) patient advocate Shakir Cannon, who spoke publicly about the potential of CRISPR for treating diseases such as SCD before his untimely death last December. Author: Michael Friend (Minority Coalition for Personalized Medicine), Email:

9. Treating Solid Tumors

The first article from China in The CRISPR Journal is a review of applications of CRISPR-Cas9 technology in translational research on solid tumors, co-authored by noted clinical gene therapist You Lu and Patrician Chen (Drexel University College of Medicine). Corresponding Author: You Lu (West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China), Email:

10. Transgenerational CRISPR-Cas9 Activity Facilitates Multiplex Gene Editing in Allopolyploid Wheat

Corresponding Author: Eduard Akhunov (Kansas State University), Email:

11. Redkmer: An Assembly-Free Pipeline for the Identification of Abundant and Specific X-Chromosome Target Sequences for X-Shredding by CRISPR Endonucleases

Corresponding Author: Philippos Papathanos (University of Perugia, Italy), Email:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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