CRISPR co-inventor, Jennifer Doudna, critical of Cell’s ‘Heroes of CRISPR’ piece

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

In a perspective piece published in Cell January 14, Eric Lander, president and director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, outlined the history of achievements behind the precision gene-editing technique known as CRISPR. The problem is, the Broad is a copatentee embroiled in an intellectual property battle being investigated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And Lander’s Cell paper does not disclose the potential conflict of interest.

Furthermore, Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley — who, along with Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany, is currently locked in the patent dispute with the Broad’s Feng Zhang and colleagues — called Lander’s account “factually incorrect” in a January 17 PubMed Commons comment. Doudna wrote that Lander’s description of her lab “and our interactions with other investigators… was not checked by the author and was not agreed to by me prior to publication.”

In a statement emailed to The Scientist, Lander said he did disclose “both real and perceived conflicts to the journal,” including that his institution has CRISPR patents and patent applications. Lander also said he emailed Doudna in mid-December, requesting that she fact-check material to be published in his perspective. Doudna told The Scientist that Lander did contact her on December 18, but said that he only shared an excerpt of the article.

Read full, original post: “Heroes of CRISPR” Disputed

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