April 2023


University of California, Davis, scientists are teaming up with UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco researchers on a $70-million donor-funded initiative that aims in part to cut climate change-causing emissions from cattle by using the genome-editing tool CRISPR on microbes in the cow’s gut.

Professor Ermias Kebreab, known for his innovative research using feed additives to reduce methane emissions, and Associate Professor Matthias Hess will collaborate with a world-renowned team at UC Berkeley: Professors Jennifer Doudna and Jill Banfield. Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry for her work to develop CRISPR genome-editing technology. Earlier this year, Banfield became the first woman to win the van Leeuwenhoek Medal for her impact on the field of microbiology.

The groundbreaking health and climate initiative will be funded by TED’s Audacious Project, which provides donor support to encourage the world’s greatest changemakers to dream bigger. Announced recently at the TED conference in Vancouver, “Engineering the Microbiome with CRISPR to Improve our Climate and Health” is the largest scientific award funded through the project to date.

“This cutting-edge initiative will harness the University of California’s research prowess to solve real-world problems in areas that affect us all: sustainability and health,” said University of California President Michael V. Drake. “I’m very pleased to see multiple UC entities working collaboratively to develop and deploy new technology for the public good. I’m grateful to our philanthropic partners for supporting impactful research that will change the world for the better.”