Professor Paul Thomas
Director, Genome Editing Programme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
Invasive mammalian pests cause significant environmental damage and loss of agricultural productivity. Recent advances in genome editing technology suggest that CRISPR-Cas9 synthetic gene drives could be used as an alternative, humane strategy for invasive rodent population control. However, despite their potential, CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives have only been developed in a small number of species including flies, mosquitoes and yeast. Our goal is to develop CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive technology in mice, incorporating stringent safeguards to protect the environment from unintentional release. We anticipate these experiments will provide an important step towards development of new tools for population suppression of invasive rodent pests.
Prof Paul Thomas leads the Genome Editing Laboratory and SA Genome Editing Facility at the University of Adelaide and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
Prof Thomas completed his Ph.D. at the University of Adelaide in 1994. He completed a 3 year post-doctoral position with the late Dr. Rosa Beddington (NIMR, London) and 1998 retuned to Australia with the support of a NHMRC Florey Fellowship to establish an independent research group at the Murdoch Institute (Melbourne). In 2006, he moved to the University of Adelaide and in 2008 was awarded a prestigious Pfizer Australia Research Fellowship. In 2014, he was promoted to full Professor and established the SA Genome Editing (SAGE) facility. In 2018, he relocated to the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
His research focuses on the development of CRISPR/ CAS9 genome editing technology for a range of applications including generation and analysis of mouse models for neurodevelopmental disorders and synthetic gene drives for invasive pest suppression. He has published more than 100 scientific articles with >7,500 citations.
Find out more on Professor Paul Thomas research.
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