Ved Topkar avatar

Ved Topkar

MD/PhD student, technology enthusiast


Current Research

I currently work in the Das Lab studying the structure of RNA molecules within eukaryotic cells.

Past Research

Genome Editing

At the Joung Lab (Massachusetts General Hospital), I researched methods for improving the safety and specificity of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology .

I contributed to the development of GUIDE-seq, a method for detecting off-target cleavage events induced by genome editing nucleases. A core part of my work has been developing a streamlined computational pipeline for easy analysis of GUIDE-seq data.

Later, I contributed to the engineering and characterization of Cas9 variants to expand the targeting range of the CRISPR-Cas toolbox. For my senior thesis, I characterized Cas9 orthologues to expand the number of genomic locii that the CRISPR-Cas system can target.

To help biologists leverage the entire array of characterized Cas9 variants in their research, I created CasBLASTR, a tool for identifying and annotating CRISPR-Cas target sites.

Origins of Life

While in the lab of Professor Jack Szostak (Massachusetts General Hospital), I researched the processivity of RNA replication in the context of origins of life.


At the Gunawardena Lab (Harvard Medical School) I studied redundancies in epigenetic marks around human promoter regions.

In high school, I worked on modeling the propagation of microwaves through human tissue at the Popovic Lab (CU Boulder).