ChemBio Seminar by Prof. Randall Peterson (University of Utah)


Event details

Date 10.11.2023
Hour 13:0014:00
Speaker Prof. Randall Peterson, College of Pharmacy, University of Utah, USA
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Title: Novel drugs, novel genes from in vivo zebrafish screens

Whereas chemical biology and biochemistry have traditionally focused on simple, in vitro assays, many biological phenomena—e.g. embryonic development, disease physiology, and behavior—are difficult to reduce to in vitro assays. These organismal processes are best studied in vivo, and consequently have not historically been amenable to high-throughput biology. Now, the zebrafish is allowing scientists to study these organismal phenomena at unprecedented scale and throughput. We are developing methodologies that enable small molecule and CRISPR screening to be applied to organismal processes as diverse as social interaction and cardiac development. This talk will describe how small molecule screens in zebrafish have led to new clinically useful compounds and share recent work using chemical and CRISPR screens to understand the causes of autism and congenital cardiovascular malformations.

Speaker's biography:
Randall Peterson is the L. S. Skaggs Presidential Endowed Professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah. Peterson’s research utilizes high-throughput screening technologies to discover new drug candidates for cardiovascular and nervous system disorders. Peterson received a PhD in chemical biology from Harvard University, where he studied as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute predoctoral fellow before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was the Charles Addison and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Chair in Basic Science at Harvard Medical School, Scientific Director of the MGH Cardiovascular Research Center, and Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute.  In the area of drug discovery, he has used zebrafish screens to discover several compounds that are widely used research tools or in clinical trials.  In the area of genomics, he has been at the forefront of developing genome editing tools for the zebrafish, including the first use of TALENs in zebrafish, the first use of CRISPR in any animal, the first engineering of Cas9 for altering PAM specificity, and the first high-throughput CRISPR screen in a vertebrate.  In the area of commercialization, he is inventor on dozens of patents and patent applications, several of which have been licensed for commercial use.  He has served on the boards and scientific advisory boards of biotech and pharmaceutical companies and has founded several successful companies, including Keros Therapeutics (NASDAQ: KROS).  At the University of Utah, he co-founded the University of Utah Therapeutics Accelerator Hub.

Lab website:


Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free



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