Zhen Li


Genome editing based on sequence-specific programmable nucleases aims at modifying, precisely and efficiently, the genetic information in living cells. However, there are many critical aspects that require further improvement and elucidation, including the influence of the epigenetic context of target sequences on genome editing endpoints, namely, the specificity and accuracy. Hence, my Ph.D. research will focus on (i) identifying donor DNA templates with high targeted DNA specificity and, therefore, decreased random chromosomal DNA insertion levels; (ii) developing programmable nucleases with higher specificities; and (iii) identifying the factors involved in non-mutagenic genome editing procedures based on inducing targeted single-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs), or nicks, instead of DSBs.



From 2011 to 2016, I got my bachelor’s degree of Clinical Medicine from Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. From 2016 to 2019, I did my M.Sc. studies and carried out a series of experiments focusing on the impact of the long non-coding RNA FMO6P on the invasion and migration of gastric cancer cells, under the supervision of Prof. Liping Su in the Department of Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China. In 2019, I was awarded the CSC-LU joint scholarship to start my Ph.D. studies investigating non-mutagenic genome editing strategies for repairing defective in human stem cells in the group of Dr. Manuel Gonçalves at the Department of Cell and Chemical biology from the LUMC in the Netherlands. 


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