Jacob Corn has been appointed Professor of Genome Biology at ETH Zurich. Corn is the founding scientific director of the Innovative Genomics Institute and adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His research aims to bring about the end of genetic disease through the development and application of next-generation genome editing technologies — improving human health through the fundamental understanding of disease mechanisms.
Corn’s experience extends to therapeutic areas that include infectious disease, neurobiology and oncology, and his work has redefined our understanding of DNA replication. He computationally designed protein inhibitors from scratch and discovered biological mechanisms for challenging therapeutic targets.
The key objective of the ETH professorship, which is funded by NOMIS in cooperation with the Lotte und Adolf Hotz-Sprenger Stiftung, is to study the functional elements encoded in complex genomes through comparative analysis, seeking to deepen our understanding of how the genetic variation in the human population is related to disease susceptibility.
Corn is exploring processes that detect and repair damage to DNA, using these findings to repair, switch on or off, or replace genes in the genome at a defined position. This knowledge is important for both therapeutic use as well as basic and applied research.