Gene drive research: workshop and webinar series
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct will provide an independent, objective examination of what has been learned since the development of gene drives — systems to ensure that a gene modification will be inherited by an organism’s offspring, effectively driving modifications throughout a population from one generation to the next. Though not a new concept, gene drives have recently gained prominence with the development of targeted genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9 endonucleases. The study is being conducted by a committee of experts and is expected to be released in 2016.
A workshop and a series of webinars are being organized as part of the committee’s information-gathering process and will feature presentations and Q&A sessions with the leading researchers and decision-makers in the field. These events are free and open to the public. Details are below and are also available on the study website.
Workshop: Science, Ethics and Governance Considerations for Gene Drive Research
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, 2015
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 20418 and webcast
Join this workshop to discuss the state of the science of gene drive research, responsible conduct and ethics, perspectives on opportunities and limitations in low and middle income countries, and scales of governance (see preliminary agenda here). Researchers will share the capabilities and tradeoffs of gene drive techniques, the ethics of research on emerging technologies, and mechanisms for the governance of advances in biotechnology. Please register to attend.
Key Principles and Considerations for Risk Assessment of Gene Drive Research and Applications
11 a.m. to noon Nov. 5
This webinar will review risk assessment techniques for gene drive research, with speakers including:
- Elizabeth Heitman, committee co-chair, associate professor of medical ethics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- James Collins, committee co-chair, Virginia M. Ullman professor of natural history and the environment,
Arizona State University
- Katherine von Stackleberg, Harvard University
- Bruce K. Hope, CH2M Hill (retired)
Implications of Gene Drive Research on Biosecurity
10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Nov. 19
Explore the implications of gene drive research on biosecurity with this webinar, featuring presentations on:
- General Considerations for Biosecurity– Edward You, Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Potential for the Use of Gene Drives in Entomological Warfare— Amesh Adalja, University of Pittsburg Medical Center
- Implications of Gene Drives for Agricultural Security – Jacqueline Fletcher, Oklahoma State