august, 2017

01aug8:00 am10:00 amThe Ethics of the Commercialization of CRISPR


Event Details

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is the revolutionary new technology enabling precise editing of the genome. CRISPR is broadly available, costs less and is easier to use than prior gene editing methods, and has already accelerated research in laboratories working to cure genetic diseases in humans, modify animals, and engineer better crops.

But what will the business of CRISPR really look like? In some countries the future has arrived; groups in China have started clinical studies using the technology and, in both China and the UK, others are currently editing human embryos. Come learn about the social, technical, and ethical concerns arising with the rapid commercialization of such powerful technology.

Our panel of industry thought leaders will address a range of questions including:

  • Gene editing as a business – are we moving the technology to the clinic too fast?
  • How do we watchdog those in pursuit of “designer babies”?
  • Regarding patents – if CRISPR is the future, why do universities license exclusively?
  • Is CRISPR just a flash in the pan? What can we learn from earlier gene-editing technologies.
  • GMO opponents are developing anti-CRISPR rhetoric. How should companies respond?
  • What messages should industry send to policy makers, regulators and the public?



  • George M. Church, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Health Sciences & Technology of Harvard & MIT (HST), Director of HMS NHGRI-Center of Excellence in Genomic Science, Director of the Personal Genome Project, Broad Institute & Wyss Harvard Inst. of Biologically Inspired Engineering
  • Sheldon Krimsky, PhD, Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences in the Department of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning in the School of Arts & Sciences and Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine, Tufts University
  • Bill Lundberg, MD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer, CRISPR Therapeutics


  • Antonio Regalado, Senior Editor, Biomedicine, MIT Technology Review


(Tuesday) 8:00 am - 10:00 am