The Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC) organizes the HTCC Student Research Conference every year in conjunction with the University of California, Irvine to give community college honors students the opportunity to present their academic work. The multidisciplinary conference showcases outstanding research-based inquiries by students into the humanities, sciences, arts, social sciences, or even pre-professional programs. This year at the HTCC Conference on March 26 - 27, students presented their work virtually with interactive question and answer sessions.
Sarath Suresh, a second-year Cerro Coso student, submitted his honors project work for presentation at the Conference. His presentation was entitled ‘The Essential Puzzle Piece of Accurate Genetic Editing: Reduction of Off-Target Effects'. In his talk, he discussed the use of CRISPR in gene editing, and how this innovative technology can be affected by the high frequency of off-target effects. Such off-target effects are mutations and changes outside the targeted specific gene sequence being edited. Sarath reviewed two recent strategies: targeting unique sites, and using paired Cas 9 nickases. Both of these techniques can be used successfully to ensure high accuracy and precision in genome editing technology, which is paramount to realize its full potential as gene therapeutics.
Professors Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi mentored Sarath in his work, which he will submit for publication in the HTCC anthology Building Bridges, published through the University of California, Irvine.
Cerro Coso Community College is a member of the Honors Transfer Council of California, and send honors students to participate in the HTCC Student Research Conference every year. To learn more about the Honors Program at Cerro Coso visit the website at www.cerrocoso.edu/academics/honors-program.