Jonathan Gootenberg draws from fundamental microbiology to engineer new molecular tools. These tools, including the popular genome editing system CRISPR, allow for unprecedented manipulation and profiling of cellular states in the body, and have multiple applications in basic science, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Dr. Gootenberg uses gene editing, gene delivery, and cellular profiling methods to understand the changes that occur in the brain and other organs during aging, with the goal of generating new therapies for degenerative disease.
Dr. Gootenberg earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and biological engineering at MIT and received his PhD in Systems Biology from Harvard University, during which he conducted research with Aviv Regev and Feng Zhang at the McGovern Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. During his PhD, Gootenberg focused on the development of molecular technologies for treating and sensing disease states, crossing disciplines by utilizing novel computational techniques, microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to uncover new CRISPR tools, including Cas12 and Cas13. He and his co-authors developed Cas13 into a toolbox with uses in fundamental research, therapeutics, and diagnostics. These applications include RNA knockdown, imaging, the base editing platform REPAIR, and the sensitive, specific, and portable diagnostic platform SHERLOCK. He is one of the first members of the McGovern Institute Fellows program, which supports the transition to independent research for exceptional recent PhD graduates.