Rodolphe Barrangou, Ph.D.

Catching Up with the CRISPR Craze  


Whether you support it, protest it or have no clue what gene editing is, there is no denying that this science will and is changing everything in our world. Rodolphe Barrangou, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, will explain how CRISPR/Cas9 is currently the most effective and efficient way to edit genes. The method occurs naturally in bacteria as part of its immune system. Because of its ability to accurately locate targeted genes and cut them, CRISPR/Cas9 is considered to be one of the most significant discoveries in science that is revolutionizing biology as we know it. In his presentation, Rodolphe will explore the historical milestones that have paved the way for the CRISPR era, and he will discuss the diverse applications of CRISPR/Cas9 that have impacted and continue to shape the fields of medicine, agriculture, food, forestry and biotechnology. Rodolphe also will discuss the impacts this transformative field has had on science and society, and he will discuss the business implications of this disruptive technology in Research Triangle Park, in North Carolina and throughout the globe.

Rodolphe Barrangou, Ph.D., is the T. R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Professor in Probiotics Research at North Carolina State University. Rodolphe’s work focuses on the characterization of CRISPR-Cas systems and their applications in probiotics. Rodolphe spent nine years in R&D and M&A at Danisco and DuPont. For his work on CRISPR, Rodolphe received several international awards and has been elected into the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Barrangou also has been involved in several startup companies, is a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics, Locus Biosciences, and TreeCo, and he is Editor in Chief of the CRISPR Journal.

Applicable to all audiences

Rodolphe Barrangou , Ph.D. – North Carolina State University

Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D.

Understanding COVID-19 Infections in Children and the Vaccine Development Process


Those teaching and caring for children are understandably concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our youngest members of society and how their experience with the virus plays into the larger picture of child-to-child, child-to-adult and adult-to-child virus transmission.

Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., a nationally recognized infectious disease physician/scientist at Duke University School of Medicine, will update the Bridging the Gap community on the latest understanding of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 infections in children. She will discuss SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 symptoms and transmission patterns in children and how this impacts their daily lives and the adults who care for them. She also will share the latest progress in the quest to develop a SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Permar is Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Development; Wilburt C. Davison Distinguished Professor in Pediatrics; Professor in Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Pathology at the Duke University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the development of vaccines to prevent vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens. At Duke, she leads a research laboratory investigating immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens, such as HIV, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Zika, using various animal models. Dr. Permar has made important contributions to the development of vaccines for prevention of vertical HIV transmission, defining both innate and adaptive immune responses that are associated with protection against infant HIV acquisition and translation of this work for clinical vaccine trials in infants.

Applicable to all audiences

Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D.Duke University School of Medicine

Julie Squires

Navigating Compassion Fatigue in Education


K-16 teaching – while extremely noble and satisfying – is not without cost to those in the profession. Long days, full classrooms, barely time to eat lunch or to use the restroom, parents with whom to connect, student issues and administrative demands – all combined can contribute to the emotional and physical exhaustion and depletion that is known as compassion fatigue. Adding a global pandemic, personal health and safety concerns and the ever-changing challenges and demands of virtual teaching, and K-16 educators never before have seen so many stressors layered upon them at one moment in time.

Applicable to all audiences

Julie Squires – Rekindle LLC