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Brittany Jennings
September 29, 2021

The new facility, set to come online October 2021, is part of a cross-campus collaboration

In 2012, a revolutionary new way to edit genes was unveiled to the world – CRISPR. Since then, the technology has been named as a “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science and has expanded to be applied to targeted epigenome editing.

Now, this exciting technology is coming to UNC-Chapel Hill to enable rapid whole genome screening for new drug targets in the CRISPR Screening Facility. The state-of-the-art facility positions UNC to become a leader in academic CRISPR screening. The facility will be opening its doors to the UNC community on October 1st.

The facility, located on the second floor of the Genetic Medicine Building, will offer both arrayed screens and pooled whole-genome screens. Both services include screen design, experimental work, and detailed analysis. While the facility is primarily for use by UNC PIs, services will be available to external users, including other universities and biotech companies.

Nate Hathaway, Ph.D.

The new facility was made possible by a cross-campus collaboration between the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. In addition, NC Biotech provided a generous equipment grant to help purchase key machinery for the facility.

“I am thrilled to bring a modern genetic and epigenetic screening facility to UNC’s laboratories. The facility will enable many future discoveries and fill UNC’s drug discovery teams with new project pipelines,” said CRISPR Facility Director Nate Hathaway, Associate Professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “With CRISPR, we have the ability to continue to help patients struggling with the world’s most challenging health issues.”

The CRISPR Screening Facility is currently accepting proposals for screens through their website. Interested researchers may also reach out by email to discuss their project –


About the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, based in Chapel Hill, N.C., is an internationally recognized leader in pharmacy practice, education, and research. We develop leaders in pharmacy education, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences, who make a difference on human health worldwide. The School is recognized as the No. 1 school of pharmacy in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report and is ranked No. 6 worldwide in the QS Global Rankings for pharmacy and pharmacology. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About UNC School of Medicine
The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is the state’s largest medical school, graduating approximately 180 new physicians each year. It is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the US, including third overall for primary care by US News & World Report, and sixth for research among public universities. More than half of the school’s 1,900 faculty members served as principal investigators on active research awards in 2020. Two UNC SOM faculty members have earned Nobel Prize awards.

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