Dr. Charles Gersbach wakes up each morning motivated and excited by the thought that he can discover something new and fresh with his passion and hard work.
He didn’t feel he could find such motivation through moist toilet paper, an idea proposed by Kimberly Clark, or through transfecting cells everyday to protect toddlers from RSV infections.
Of course, both moist toilet paper and cell transfections are important in their own ways, but Dr. Gersbach felt like he was simply “one little cog in a bigger machine.”
However, once he tasted the side of academia by experiencing a bone growth product, he found a new love and freedom for lab. His idea of what “engineering” meant shifted, especially for cutting edge research.
Now, Dr. Gersbach works with CRISPR and Genome Editing to decipher the dilemma of muscular dystrophy and attempts to differentiate between gene editing and gene therapy to capitalize, understand, and edit the dystrophin protein holding together muscle cells. As an aspiring engineer fascinated with CRISPR and genome editing myself, I was extremely interested in how he tackled the gene editing portion and how he found the balance between engineering and biology.
Dr. Gersbach fought a dilemma that I find myself facing; industry v.s. academia. His insight into how he felt with his experiences in industry versus the freedom he finds through academia proves extremely helpful as I attempt to figure out what I want from the future. Thank you Dr. Gersbach for a wonderful faculty talk!