PNAS paper recognized as one of 10 big science stories

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Professor Paul Weiss’ group’s research is included in the University of California’s “10 biggest (non-COVID) science stories you might have missed in 2020”.

Chemistry graduate student Jason Belling is lead author and Professor Paul Weiss and Dr. Steven Jonas, a UCLA assistant professor in pediatrics, are co-senior authors on the recognized paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in April 2020. The team developed a new method to safely, rapidly and economically deliver DNA into stem cells and immune cells, which will help scientists provide new gene therapies to patients with a wide variety of cancers, genetic disorders and blood diseases.

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Professor Steven Jonas, graduate student Jason Belling and Professor Paul Weiss (Reed Hutchinson/UCLA)

Excerpted from (by Rana Freedman):

2020’s news cycle was dominated by COVID-19 stories, and for good reason: It’s been a year like no other. However, there were plenty of groundbreaking discoveries in 2020 that didn’t get the spotlight they deserved. These stories would have been big news in any other year, but were often overshadowed by the pandemic. Here’s some of what you may have missed while you were busy washing your hands.

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A prototype of the acoustofluidic device developed by UCLA researchers. (Reed Hutchinson/UCLA)

#4 – A UCLA-led research team has developed a technique for delivering DNA into stem cells and immune cells safely, rapidly and economically. It could be a game-changer for creating gene therapies for people with cancer, genetic disorders and blood diseases. Current genetic therapies take months to produce and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single treatment. Researchers hope this new method could eventually be performed at a patient’s bedside, and for a fraction of the cost.


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,