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Randall Platt, a professor in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel, will receive the Latsis Prize for his outstanding work in the field of genome engineering.
Randall Platt joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) at the age of 29, making him one of the university’s youngest professors. He works at the Department for Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel as a professor of biological engineering, where he carries out “exceptional work in the field of genome engineering – an achievement made all the more impressive given his young age”, according to a statement from ETH Zurich.
In recognition of his visionary work and achievements, ETH Zurich has decided to award him this year’s Latsis Prize at an event on November 16.
Platt is renowned for having developed the Cas9 mice, an animal model that he developed based on the CRISPR-Cas system, which allows scientists to edit genes in individual organs or tissues in order to study their function or role in disease. He also developed a cellular biological data logger that cells can use to record gene expression. This information is saved into DNA sequences that can be accessed at a later time. The data logger is also based on the CRISPR-Cas system.
The ETH Zurich Latsis Prize, which is worth 25,000 Swiss francs, is awarded every year to “outstanding young scientists from all fields”. ETH Zurich Rector Sarah Springman will award the prize to Platt on ETH Day, when ETH Zurich will be celebrating its 164th anniversary.