Upcoming Events

Vision Research Seminar

June 7, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Dr. Elizabeth Simpson

Elizabeth M. Simpson, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D

Department of Medical Genetics

Title: CRISPR base editor corrects Pax6-aniridic variant

Elizabeth M. Simpson, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. is a Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC); Associate Member, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, UBC; Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital; Senior Scientist, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT), UBC at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Simpson received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. She earned her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitehead Institute, which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty of The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine (1992-1999). She moved her research program to The University of British Columbia in 1999, and held a Canada Research Chair, Tier II, in Genetics & Behaviour, from 2001-2010.

Dr. Simpson is a leading scientist in mammalian genetics and genomics. She is best known for her work on mouse models of human disease, and has identified a gene implicated in bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). She is author of 99 publications, the most recent of which demonstrates that the CRISPR adenine base editor can be used to correct the most common pathogenic variant for the rare genetic blinding disorder, aniridia (Adair et al., 2023).

Headshot of Zeinab Mohanna

Zeinab Mirjalili Mohanna
PhD Candidate, Elizabeth M. Simpson Lab
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics​​​

Title: rAAV9 transduces aniridic limbal stem cells

Zeinab is in her final year of the Ph.D. program in Medical Genetics at UBC. She was first introduced to the field of ocular research during her MSc studies at the University of Sheffield. Her interest in ocular research then intensified, as she investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying age-related macular degeneration as part of her MSc thesis project. Her current research in Simpson lab focuses on developing a CRISPR-based gene therapy for the congenital blindness aniridia.


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