Award-winning CRISPR research

HIRI researcher Chase Beisel receives RNA Society Mid-Career Award

Great news at the Helmholtz Institute Würzburg (HIRI): The RNA Society recognizes Prof Chase Beisel for his scientific contributions to the field of RNA synthetic biology with the 2024 RNA Society Mid-Career Award. Prof Beisel heads a research department at the HIRI and is a professor at the Medical Faculty of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU).

The HIRI department head leverages his expertise in RNA biology and engineering to delve into the intricacies of CRISPR-Cas systems, the natural defense mechanisms that bacteria use to protect themselves from viral attacks. His overarching goal is to unravel the complexities of these systems, paving the way for the development of cutting-edge technologies and therapies.

Among his notable achievements at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research in Würzburg is the first characterization of the Cas12a2 nuclease in 2023, which represents an entirely new type of gene scissors. In 2021, Beisel's research group developed the CRISPR-based diagnostic platform LEOPARD together with JMU scientist Prof Cynthia Sharma. LEOPARD is capable of identifying multiple RNA and DNA biomarkers in a simple point-of-care test. Leopard Biosciences, a start-up company co-founded by Prof Beisel, is now commercializing this technology. Prof Beisel used this same technology to develop the first approach for recording RNAs in single cells, which his group has dubbed TIGER. During his time at the HIRI, he has also received several awards, including an ERC Consolidator Grant and an ERC Proof of Concept Grant.

Would you like to learn more about Chase Beisel and his accomplishments?

The RNA Society Mid-Career Award

The RNA Society Mid-Career Award is given in recognition of scientists who have made significant contributions to their field in the first 15 years of their careers as independent investigators. Awardees are invited to give a talk at the annual meeting of the RNA Society.