CRISPR / Gene Editing Core

The CRISPR/Gene Editing Core at Nationwide Children’s, in collaboration with The Ohio State University, provides investigators at both institutions with CRISPR/Gene Editing services. This shared resource allows researchers to gather preliminary data for grant applications and bring their novel uses of CRISPR/Gene editing closer to the clinic. The team of experts available through the CRISPR/Gene Editing Core has performed CRISPR/gene editing in a variety of cells, including primary immune cells, for researchers around the world.


Nationwide Children's Researcher

Meisam Naeimi Kararoudi, DVM, PhD

The director of the core, Dr. Meisam Naeimi Kararoudi, learned CRISPR/Cas9 technology through training at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, as an ERASMUS scholar and attending annual CRISPR workshops at MIT and Harvard. Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi has used CRISPR for a variety of applications, including gene modification in hard to manipulate immune cells and stem cells and is co-inventor of several CRISPR-edited cell products with the core’s senior advisor, Dr. Dean Lee.

Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi received his veterinary surgery degree in Iran and obtained his doctorate from the University of Perugia, Italy. Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi focused on understanding the role of immune cells such as iNKT cells in cardiovascular diseases and studied the role of miRNAs in AML using CRISPR/Cas9. During his doctoral studies in the United Kingdom and Italy, Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi received several international scholarships and grants.

Being a veterinary surgeon, immunologist and genetic engineer brought Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi to Sweden where he used CRISPR/Cas9 to decrease rejection after transplantation of tissue engineered organs at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. During this period, he also worked in SciLifeLab as a visiting postdoctoral researcher to use genetic modification in cancer-related projects.

Now, Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi is research assistant professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and a principal investigator in the Center for Childhood Cancer at Nationwide Children's. Under the supervision of Dr. Lee, Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi developed a method to genetically modify the hard-to-transfect human Natural Killer cells using CRISPR and identified novel approaches to enhance their cytotoxicity and to target cancers via chimeric antigen receptors. Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi is also involved in developing new methods to detect expanded NK cells in-vivo using MRI.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Dean A. Lee, MD, PhD
Senior Advisor

Dr. Dean Lee has a reputation in gene modification of several cells which has been used for clinical trials. He was a member of the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee and currently sits on the NIH Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee (NExTRAC) and the NExTRAC Gene Drive Working Group. His laboratory is a pioneer in CRISPR modification of hard to manipulate NK cells and T-cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Yasemin Sezgin

Yasemin Sezgin
Research Associate and Lab Manager

Yasemin Sezgin is a research associate and lab manager for the CRISPR/Gene Editing Core and Naeimi Kararoudi Lab. Yasemin was previously a research assistant at in the Lee Lab, focusing on immunotherapy mediated by NK cells. She received her bachelor's degree in Biology and master's degree in Medical Genetics at Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey.

Noushin Saljoughian

Noushin Saljoughian
Research Scientist

Noushin Saljoughian, PharmD, PhD, supports CRISPR Core R&D projects, including CRISPR Knock Out, Knock In and CRISPR screening and scanning. Dr. Saljoughian supports experimental design, performance evaluation, data collection, and results interpretation.

Dr. Saljoughian joined The Ohio State University as a postdoctoral researcher, where she contributed to research conducted by a team from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and McGill University and published in Nature Communications: “A second generation leishmanization vaccine with a markerless attenuated Leishmania major strain using CRISPR gene editing.” Dr. Saljoughian’s research expanded to include the immunomodulatory effects of new drugs, such as Ibrutinib, which have been used in cancer immunotherapy and to treat immunodeficiency disorders. Dr. Saljoughian studied the role of immune cells in cardiac dysfunction during gram negative bacterial infection with specific interest in aging, supported by a American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Careers in Immunology Fellowship, which she was awarded in 2018. She is passionate about working as a clinical trial specialist and, through clinical trials, hopes her pharmaceutical and immunological knowledge can help cancer patients.

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Genesis Snyder
Research Intern

Genesis Snyder is a research intern in the CRISPR/Gene Editing Core at Nationwide Children’s and the Naeimi Kararoudi Lab. She assists with cell lines and preparing materials for current and upcoming experiments. Genesis is currently studying kinesiology at Miami University and plans to obtain a master's degree before attending medical school.

Requesting Services

The CRISPR/Gene Editing Core works closely with investigators and research groups to meet their needs with reasonable turnaround times and at affordable prices. 
Services include:

  • Free consultation on selecting the optimal approach for CRISPR gene modification for basic, translational or clinical applications.
  • Provision of recombinant vectors encoding CRISPR gene targeting components.
  • Assistance in guide RNA design for improved efficiency/specificity.
  • DNA-free CRISPR gene editing (Cas9/RNP).
  • High-efficiency generation of knock-out cell lines and hard-to-manipulate primary cells (e.g., hematopoietic stem cells, iPSC, immune cells).
  • Base editing for correction of point mutations in different cells.
  • Transient gene silencing or transcriptional repression (CRISPRi).
  • Transient activation of endogenous genes (CRISPRa).
  • Site directed gene insertion (reporter tags, chimeric antigen receptors, etc.) 
  • Integrated approach with Andelyn for supplying AAV vectors. 

Nationwide Children’s employees should requests through iLab or by emailing Dr. Naeimi Kararoudi.

Investigators at The Ohio State University should submit requests to Dr. Dario Palmieri