Christof Fellmann, PhD
Staff Research Investigator

Phone

(415) 734-2541

Assistant

Robin Givens
(415) 734-4805

Areas of Investigation

The recent development of RNA-guided immune systems including CRISPR as programmable tools for genome editing and regulation has spurred a revolution in biology by enabling nearly unlimited genetic manipulation, even in previously difficult contexts such as human cells. This has provided unparalleled insight into mammalian biology and revolutionized medical strategies to treat human disease. 

Over the last decade, Fellmann’s work has centered on establishing and optimizing RNA‐guided immune systems and applying them to the study of signaling pathways in cancer, with a particular focus on RAS‐mutant tumors. By combining molecular biology and bioengineering, his lab will study the mechanistic interplay between CRISPR‐Cas enzymes and mammalian DNA repair pathways, and use this knowledge to engineer next‐generation approaches for genome manipulation and precision medicine. The team will apply these tools to study the plasticity of cellular signaling networks in RAS‐mutant and TERT promoter-mutant cancer, and build advanced in vivo models of complex human disease, with the ultimate goal of developing innovative therapies for patients

Achievements

Created a high‐throughput RNAi Sensor assay to assess sequence requirements of efficient microRNA biogenesis
Developed an optimized shRNA backbone termed “miR‐E” to boost target knockdown, and a machine learning-based shRNA prediction algorithm called “SplashRNA”
Developed combinatorial strategies to target KRAS‐mutant cancer through in‐vivo delivery of nanoparticle siRNA complexes

Education

2004
BS
  • Molecular Biology
  • University of Basel (Switzerland)
2007
  • Diploma in Biotechnology Engineering
  • Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (France)
2011
PhD
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and University of Zurich (Switzerland)

Honors and Awards

2016 NIH Path to Independence Award
2011 Elected Member in the Science Program for Excellence in Science of the Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)
2005 Chairman of the French charter of the Young European Biotech Network