Gene Editing Institute Advancing Gene Editing and Genome Engineering for More Than 20 Years

The mission of the Gene Editing Institute is to elucidate the mechanism and regulation of genome editing at the molecular level and to help translate our results into clinically relevant applications. We employ single-stranded oligonucleotides and programmable nucleases, including TALENs and CRISPRS, as genetic tools to direct nucleotide exchange at specific sites within the mammalian genome. We use primary and model cell systems to study how gene editing takes place and to identify the activators and suppressors that control the reaction.

Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., responds to recent report about off-site edits from CRISPR-Cas9

The recent study by Allan Bradley and colleagues that raised questions about the extent of off-site edits is an important reminder that this rapidly moving field requires us to be careful and thorough. However, we must also recognize that CRISPR-Cas9 is a technology that can be used in various ways. No one study represents the full breadth of uses of CRISRP-Cas9. This study raises questions about how CRISPR might be used in therapeutics intended to repair a gene. But researchers are using CRISPR in a number of ways that are not impacted by this study—from creating new diagnostic tests to therapeutics uses that are intended to knock out a gene to ease the destruction of cancerous cells. At the Gene Editing Institute, we are always following the latest from the field of CRISPR and have been working on a tool called EXACT to prevent these off-site edits.

The ASCO Daily News featured an article by Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., director of the Gene Editing Institute of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care Health System, on gene editing using CRISPR/Cas 9 in human cells.

For its enormous potential to accelerate the development of personalized cancer therapies, the Gene Editing Institute of Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute has been awarded a grant of $900,000 from the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation in partnership with the biotechnology company NovellusDx.

Dr. Eric Kmiec spoke to the discovery by scientists of how to edit genes in embryos.

Delaware Business Times highlighted the efforts Dr. Eric Kmiec and Christiana Care to treat lung cancer with gene editing through a partnership with Israel-based NovellusDX.

To accelerate the development of next-generation cancer therapies, the Gene Editing Institute of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care Health System has agreed to provide genetically modified cell lines to Analytical Biological Services, Inc. (ABS) of Wilmington, Delaware.

$1 million NSF grant propels Delaware to forefront of gene editing education.


Translation of our work will lead to the development of effective therapeutics for the treatment of inherited diseases as well as for the creation of credible and robust cell lines that can be used for the screening of novel anticancer drugs.

For more information, call 302-623-4761 or e-mail

20 Years of Discovery in Gene Editing

The Gene Editing Institute is widely recognized as a pioneering laboratory in the field of gene editing both in lower and higher eukaryotes. Over the course of the last 20 years, the Institute has focused on understanding the basic mechanism and regulation of gene editing within the context of the chromosome. These investigations, detailed in the above timeline, included analysis at the biochemical, molecular and cellular levels and generated a series of discoveries that led to the eventual development of specialized oligonucleotides (chimeras) that could direct targeted gene correction. These observations led to the conceptualization of the process of gene editing in mammalian cells.