Fatwa Adikusuma

Dr Fatwa Adikusuma

Externally-Funded Research Fellow (A)

School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor), but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Adikusuma is a research fellow in Genome Editing Laboratory led by Prof Paul Thomas. He completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide under Prof Thomas supervision. He is the recipient of a fellowship from CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform. Dr Adikusuma's research focuses on developing CRISPR gene editing techniques and strategies to improve the efficiency of the intended gene editing. His research also studies how the DNA is repaired after the cleavage by gene-editing technology. He discovered the strategies to eliminate an entire chromosome using CRISPR genome editing. Also, his landmark finding that CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage often induces large deletions (Adikusuma et al Nature 2018) cautions the biomedical community about unintended and hitherto unrecognised editing outcomes that could occur when performing germline CRISPR genome editing therapy. Together with his students and Prof Thomas, he is now developing a highly efficient strategy of using CRISPR genome editing for the therapeutic of genetic diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that could lead to effective clinical genome editing therapy using CRISPR system.

My research is focused on developing CRISPR genome editing technology particularly for its use in mammalian cells and in mice. I explore CRISPR strategies that promote predictable and efficient DNA editing outcomes. For example, I invented the strategies to eliminate an entire chromosome using CRISPR genome editing (Adikusuma et al Molecular Therapy 2017). My research also studies how we can efficiently and effectively create genomic mutations using CRISPR technology and develop the CRISPR tools (constructs) to achieve the goal. Additionally, I study the repair outcomes (mutations) generated after DNA breaks induced by CRISPR endonuclease. For example, we found that CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage often induces large deletions (Adikusuma et al Nature 2018). The main goal of my research is to create knowledge and technology on genome editing that is widely used for vast applications such as basic research and therapeutics. My research projects also focus on developing highly effective CRISPR therapy for genetic diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Cystic Fibrosis. We use mammalian cells and animal preclinical models to test our CRISPR techniques in order to find the perfect formula that can effectively cure genetic diseases. Ultimately, the research is expected to develop CRISPR therapies for use in humans to provide treatments for patients.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 - ongoing Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2017 - 2018 Postdoctoral Researcher University of Adelaide, Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2022 Award Early Career Researcher Executive Dean Award (2022) Faculty of Health and Medical Science Australia
    2021 Award Faculty Emerging Leader Development Award Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Award Early Career Researcher Award SAHMRI Australia
    2018 Fellowship CSIRO SynBio Fellowship CSIRO, University of Adelaide and SAHMRI Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2011 - 2017 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD
  • Research Interests

- CSIRO SynBio fellowship for developing genome editing strategies for DMD therapeutic (2018-2021)

- Faculty Emerging Leader Development Award (2021)

- Advanced Research Platforms, Masters of Biotechnology

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Co-Supervisor The Development of Novel CRISPR/Cas9 Based Therapies for Genetic Eye Disease Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Miss Jesse Georgina Kennedy
    2022 Co-Supervisor Designing a novel therapeutic CRISPR/Cas9 based strategy towards treating genetic eye disease Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Mr Lachlan Graham Staker
    2021 Co-Supervisor Improving Disease Therapy with the Application of Prime Editing Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Caleb James Lushington
    2021 Co-Supervisor Development of novel CRISPR/Cas9 therapies for genetic eye disease Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Ashleigh Geiger
    2020 Co-Supervisor Developing CRISPR/Cas9-Based Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy using a Humanised Preclinical Model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yu Chinn Joshua Chey
    2020 Co-Supervisor Development of a highly efficient CRISPR-Cas9 gene therapy strategy for precise restoration of dystrophin in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jayshen Christa Arudkumar

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