WASHINGTON - The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Royal Society (the science academy of the U.K.) are joining the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in co-hosting an international summit on human gene editing to be held December 1-3 in Washington, D.C. An organizing committee has been appointed to develop an agenda for the summit, which will bring together experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss scientific, medical, ethical, and governance issues associated with advances in human gene-editing research.
In May, the U.S. Academies launched a major initiative to inform decision making related to new gene-editing technologies that could lead to promising, novel ways to treat disease but that also have given rise to concerns, particularly about their potential use to modify the human germline. In addition to the summit, the initiative will include a comprehensive study of human gene editing by a separate committee, which will issue a report next year with recommendations to guide the responsible use of such research.
"Human gene editing offers great promise for improving human health and well-being but it also raises significant ethical and societal issues," said Royal Society President Paul Nurse. "It is vital that we have a well-informed international debate about the potential benefits and risks, and this summit can hopefully set the tone for that discussion."
Chinese Academy of Sciences President Chunli Bai said, "Both Chinese scientists and the government are aware of the pros and cons of human gene editing. CAS scientists have organized a panel discussion and coordinated with related government agencies for regulatory policies on this issue. We would like to work together with international communities for the proper regulation and application of such technology."
"We are very pleased that our counterparts in China and the U.K. are joining us in this effort," said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone and NAM President Victor J. Dzau in a joint statement. "Their co-hosting of the summit reflects a growing recognition among global scientific and medical communities that we need to work together to develop a better understanding of the implications of advances in human gene editing so that more informed decisions about the use of this research can be made worldwide."
The summit planning committee is being chaired by Nobel laureate David Baltimore, president emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. A full committee roster follows. For updates on the summit agenda and a description of issues to be addressed, visit http://nationalacademies.
The members of the committee planning the international summit are:
David Baltimore (chair)
President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology
California Institute of Technology
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy
Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus
Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine
George Q. Daley
Samuel E. Lux IV Professor of Hematology and Oncology, and
Stem Cell Transplantation Program
Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Jennifer A. Doudna
Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and
Department of Chemistry
University of California
Eric S. Lander
President and Director
The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Group Leader and Head
Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics
The Francis Crick Institute
Professor of Law and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin; and
Morgridge Institute for Research
Professor and Director General
Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Professor of Paediatric Immunology
University College London
Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus
Professor and Deputy Director
Institute of Zoology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
William Kearney, Director of Media Relations
Molly Galvin, Senior Media Relations Officer
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