Kick-off meeting of the European project I-GENE, the project aiming to make safe genomic editing, the molecular scissor that modifies the DNA

The Kick-Off meeting of the European project I-GENE “In-vivo Gene Editing by NanotransducErs” took place in Pisa, at the Gipsoteca, on November 15th, 2019.
I-GENE project, founded by the European Commission, aims to develop a technology that allows recognition and editing of a single genetic locus in the 3 billion base pairs of the human genome. Professor Vittoria Raffa of the Department of Biology, coordinator of the I-GENE project, explains: “Despite the enormous potential, enzymes used for genomic editing raises serious concerns related to safety because of the risk of unwanted DNA cuts that can result in potentially harmful outcomes. Recent discoveries in the field of nanomedicine, synthetic biology and “programmable biology/medicine” could make safe previously impractical applications of genomic editing”.
The European Commission and the project partners participated in the event: the project officier, connected via web; Prof Mauro Pistello, leading the team of Translational Medicine of the University of Pisa, who will apply I-GENE technology for the selective elimination of melanoma cells; Dr. Francesco Tantussi of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT, Genoa), expert in nanoplasmonics; the three industrial partners Prochimia Surfaces (Poland), Lionix (Holland) and Msquared (United Kingdom) which will carry out the technological development and industrial exploitation of the results. I-GENE project is founded by the EC under the FET-OPEN scheme, fostering novel ideas for radically new technologies.