Professor Kathy Niakan, Embryo and Stem Cell Researcher (UK)

Kathy Niakan conducts research on surplus embryos derived from assisted reproduction technologies. She is gaining insights into early embryonic development by gene silencing using the CRISPR/Cas technology.

Portrait Professor Kathy Niakan

Professor Kathy Niakan

Francis Crick Institute

Professor Niakan is the Director of the Center for Trophoblast Research at the University of Cambridge and Chair of Cambridge Reproduction Interdisciplinary Research Centre. She is also Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute in London. In 2016, she became the first researcher in the world to get national regulatory permission to modify the genes of supernumerary embryos to gain new insights into the development of early human life. The embryologist uses CRISPR/Cas technology to selectively switch off genes to study whether they are relevant to development. She and her research team are contributing to increase knowledge about early embryonic development and to answer questions such as: What are genetic causes of miscarriage? What are causes of infertility? What is necessary for the development of a healthy embryo?

In addition to numerous high-ranking publications, she has received several nominations and awards such as the Blavatnik Award for her pioneering research on human embryology.

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