Image of Laboratory for Genomics Research building

GSK teams up with Doudna, putting CRISPR to work to find new drugs

GlaxoSmithKline is joining forces with the University of California to dig into how gene mutations cause disease and to use CRISPR to discover new drugs. The partners will set up a new laboratory near the UC San Francisco (UCSF) campus that will net up to $67 million in funding over five years.

The Laboratory for Genomics Research (LGR) is the brainchild of CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., of UC Berkeley, Jonathan Weissman, Ph.D., whose work at UCSF includes CRISPR screening, and Hal Barron, M.D., GSK’s chief scientific officer and R&D chief. The lab will house 24 full-time UCSF employees as well as 14 GSK staffers who will focus on immunology, oncology and neuroscience. GSK’s artificial intelligence and machine learning teams will build the computational tools the lab needs to analyze the data its work will generate.

CRISPR has gained prominence as a treatment in itself—editing genes has obvious applications in a range of diseases—but the LGR will develop CRISPR-based tools to study how small changes in a person’s genetic makeup can increase the risk of disease and to identify new drug targets.




UC Berkeley



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