Photo of Omar Abudayyeh

Biotechnology & medicine

Omar Abudayyeh

Novel CRISPR systems that can better perform gene editing and molecular diagnostics

Year Honored


Omar Abudayyeh, Ph.D., is a McGovern Institute Fellow at MIT where he runs a small research group on exploring microbial diversity for new biotechnological tools related to genome editing and gene delivery. He completed his training at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program as a graduate student in Feng Zhang’s lab. His graduate research centered on uncovering novel CRISPR enzymes beyond Cas9 for applications in genome editing, therapeutics, and diagnostics. He co-led the discovery and characterization of multiple landmark pieces of work, including the characterization of Cpf1/Cas12 for novel genome editing applications and the first single-protein RNA-guided RNA-targeting enzyme C2c2/Cas13. His follow-up work on C2c2/Cas13 biology led to the development of the SHERLOCK technology for CRISPR diagnostics, and a new set of tools for precise RNA editing for gene therapy. 

Dr. Abudayyeh is a co-founder of Sherlock Biosciences and an advisor for Beam Therapeutics. In recognition of his technology developments, Dr. Abudayyeh was recognized as 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 in Science and Health Care and Business Insider 30 under 30. Dr. Abudayyeh graduated from MIT in 2012 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and biological engineering, where he was a Henry Ford II Scholar and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.