Saklayen Named one of "35 Innovators Under 35" by MIT Technology Review

June 28, 2018
Photo of Nabiha Saklayen

Gene editing is invaluable in correcting mutations like the one that causes sickle-cell anemia. But biologists need better ways to get DNA and other ingredients into cells. Typically, the gene-editing recipe is introduced by viruses, which can have dangerous side effects, or during electroporation, a technique that uses strong electrical pulses and kills many of the cells in the process.

Lasers offer a gentler alternative, but those methods have had their own drawbacks. The lasers used have typically been very powerful and expensive, and capable of injecting only one cell at a time—too slow for clinical applications.

Nabiha Saklayen’s innovation was to design nanostructured add-ons to the laser system that deliver pulses of laser light to large numbers of cells at once, making it possible to dose them with gene editors at clinically useful speeds.

Continue reading "35 Innovators Under 35" in MIT Technology Review,