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Gene Editing Institute Advancing Gene Editing and Genome Engineering for More Than 20 Years

The mission of the Gene Editing Institute is to elucidate the mechanism and regulation of genome editing at the molecular level and to help translate our results into clinically relevant applications. We employ single-stranded oligonucleotides and programmable nucleases, including TALENs and CRISPRS, as genetic tools to direct nucleotide exchange at specific sites within the mammalian genome. We use primary and model cell systems to study how gene editing takes place and to identify the activators and suppressors that control the reaction.

To learn more about our gene editing work, read the USA Today article, 'Gene Editing Institute pioneering DNA surgery.'

Gene Editing Institute researchers make breakthrough discovery to improve CRISPR/Cas 9 gene editing tool. Learn more in the Scientific Reports article.

Translation of our work will lead to the development of effective therapeutics for the treatment of inherited diseases as well as for the creation of credible and robust cell lines that can be used for the screening of novel anticancer drugs.

For more information, call 302-623-6028 or e-mail

20 Years of Discovery in Gene Editing

The Gene Editing Institute is widely recognized as a pioneering laboratory in the field of gene editing both in lower and higher eukaryotes. Over the course of the last 20 years, the Institute has focused on understanding the basic mechanism and regulation of gene editing within the context of the chromosome. These investigations, detailed in the above timeline, included analysis at the biochemical, molecular and cellular levels and generated a series of discoveries that led to the eventual development of specialized oligonucleotides (chimeras) that could direct targeted gene correction. These observations led to the conceptualization of the process of gene editing in mammalian cells.

Our Current Research Program

We have undertaken the decidedly reductionist approach for studying the mechanism of action and regulation of gene editing. The Gene Editing Institute continues to evaluate the overall role of DNA damage response proteins in the process of genome modification with a particular emphasis on how double strand breaks and the phases of the cell cycle influence the efficiency and efficacy of gene editing in mammalian cells, directed by single-stranded oligonucleotides. We are also analyzing how specific chemical modification of nucleotides that are placed within the single-stranded DNA oligonucleotide can improve the frequency with which gene editing takes place. We are using single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides and CRISPR/Cas9 systems to recapitulate the chromosomal translocations in childhood leukemias in HEK 293 cells, a model system that affords the opportunity to evaluate changes in global gene expression and epigenetic modification as a function of chromosomal exchange.

Our Partnership with The Wistar Institute

Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical
director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research
Institute, and Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and CEO.

To accelerate breakthrough cancer research in the human genome, the Gene Editing Institute at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute has entered into an agreement with The Wistar Institute. The agreement expands the historic partnership between the Graham Cancer Center, one of the nation’s largest community cancer centers, and Wistar, the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center dedicated solely to biomedical research. In this partnership, the Gene Editing Institute will be integrated into Wistar’s Molecular Screening Facility, which will allow its innovative gene-editing technologies to be made available to research projects at Wistar and to external users.

The Gene Editing Institute offers both products and consultation-for-fee services, allowing researchers access to the best tools for performing precise, accurate gene editing in the widest variety of biological systems.

Learn more about this groundbreaking partnership.

Delaware Health Sciences Alliance CarePages Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing

Christiana Care is a private not-for-profit regional health care system and relies in part on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations to fulfill its mission. To learn more about how you can support our mission, please visit

Christiana Care Health System PO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899 800-693-CARE