Engineering the Human Germline Symposium announcement

Gregory Stock (
Sat, 21 Feb 1998 12:04:18 -0800

Announcement from ExI member Dr. Gregory Stock:

<bold><bigger>A Symposium,
<italic><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param><bigger>Engineering The Human
Germline</bigger></color></italic>, will be held at The University of
California, Los Angeles, March 20, 1998. The one day event will be the
first major symposium to explore the near-term prospects for
pre-implantation genetic therapy and the social and ethical dilemmas
posed by altering the genes we pass to our children.

<center><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>Schoenberg Hall - UCLA

Friday, March 20, 1998

9am to 5:30pm

Doors Open 8:15am

Open to the Public

Admission Free


</color></bigger></bold>For Further Information: Contact UCLA's Program
on Science, Technology and Society at the Center for the Study of
Evolution and the Origin of Life - (310) 825-1769, refer to the website
, or e-mail Don Ponturo: A limited number of seating reservations are available.

To reach the symposium organizers e-mail Dr. Gregory Stock, STS Program Director:

Please feel free to forward this announcement to any interested individuals or groups.

<center><italic><underline><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param><bigger><bigger>Schedule Summary


9:00am</bigger></color><bigger><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>Welcome and Introduction - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Vice Chancellor Kumar Patel</color></italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>/<italic>Gregory Stock

</italic></color><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>9:15am</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>A Vision for Practical Human Germline Engineering - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>John Campbell

</color></italic><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>9:50am</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>Beyond the Human Genome Project - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Leroy Hood


<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>10:40am</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>Ethics and Safety - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Daniel Koshland, Jr.


</italic><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>11:15am </color>The Genetic Engineer's Tool Box - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Mario R. Capecchi


<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>1:40pm</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>A New Front in the Battle Against Disease - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>W. French Anderson


<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>2:15pm</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>Aging: A Target for Germline Engineering - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Michael Rose


</italic><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>2:50pm</color><color><param>0000,8080,0000</param> </color>In-Vitro Fertilization: From Embryo Selection to Genetic Design - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Lee Silver


<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>4:00pm </color>The Road Ahead: Human Germline Engineering and Society - <italic><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Moderated by Gregory Stock - includes the speakers, Andrea Bonnicksen, John Fletcher, James D. Watson



Recent Scientific breakthroughs suggest that the manipulation of the genetic instructions passed to our children is much nearer than previously assumed. It is time for scientists and ethicists to take a fresh look at the possibilities human germline manipulation may bring, and the challenges it may pose. This symposium, by providing a realistic scientific assessment of the technology's potential over the next twenty years and reflecting on these possibilities is meant to serve as a foundation for the approaching public-policy debate.

</bigger><center><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>The Program is sponsored by grants from The Greenwall Foundation and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


<center> <underline><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param><bigger>Engineering the Human Germline

Abstracts of Presentations


</bigger>Welcome and Introduction</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>-</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Gregory Stock

</color> An evolutionary perspective on germline engineering and the interplay between human biology and technology.

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>A Vision for Practical Human Germline Engineering</color><color><param>8080,0000,0000</param> </color><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- John Campbell

</color> Germline engineering may enable us to obtain the benefits of a century of genetic science. We now have the capacity to develop techniques to reliably and safely introduce DNA constructs into germ cells and could begin to conceive and design genetic therapies to ward off diseases and improve the quality of human life. This talk discusses how a program for human germline engineering might be structured and some of the technical hurdles it would face.

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>The Human Genome Project, Launch Pad for Human Genetic Engineering</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- Leroy Hood

</color> Our ability to manipulate our genetics will be profoundly extended by the successful completion of the human genome project. What therapeutic enhancements to our genes might be feasible two decades from now? How close might we be to constructively altering the genes for our immune system, our development, and our nervous system? What role might biotechnology companies play in generating the knowledge and technology for human germline engineering and making it broadly available?

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>Ethics and Safety</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- Daniel Koshland, Jr.

</color> Efforts to engineer the human germline need to satisfy appropriate ethical and safety requirements. What level of testing should be required before germline procedures are used with humans? How do the individual and global risks from human germline engineering compare with other medical and reproductive risks? Should guidelines be developed to regulate the methods by which the human genome is manipulated or merely the types of genetic changes allowed?

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>The Genetic Engineer's Tool Box</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- Mario R. Capecchi

</color> Various procedures have vastly expanded our ability to manipulate the genome and further advances can be expected during the next two decades. This talk examines the techniques used to engineer genetic changes in various organisms and considers their technical potential for refinement into tools for safe, reliable germline engineering in humans. The potential scope of human germline manipulations in coming generations is also considered.

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>A New Front in the Battle Against Disease</color><color><param>8080,0000,0000</param> </color><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- W. French Anderson

</color> Introducing healthy genes into diseased somatic cells is becoming an established medical practice. How big a step would it be to extend such therapy to germline cells? For which categories of disease might germline engineering be superior to such alternatives as somatic cell therapy, embryo selection, and traditional medical treatment? What new approaches to disease diagnosis and treatment might germline engineering offer us in two decades?

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>Aging: a Target for Germline Engineering</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- Michael Rose

</color> Aging is multifaceted, affected by individual genes, interacting gene complexes, and environmental influences. This talk reviews our current understanding of the genetic factors which affect aging, considers how this knowledge may increase in the next two decades, and assesses the prospects of germline engineering both for ameliorating the degenerative changes that accompany aging and for retarding the aging process itself.

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>In-Vitro Fertilization: From Embryo Selection to Genetic Design</color> <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>- Lee Silver

</color> In-vitro fertilization will soon offer many possible new twists to traditional human reproduction, from chimeric babies and children born to their grandparents, to detailed screening of individual embryos. This talk explores these possibilities, looking at how sophisticated such technologies as embryo screening might soon become, and how they might relate to germline engineering.

<color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>The Road Ahead: Human Germline Engineering and Society

</color> This panel discussion moderated by Gregory Stock will consider the technical, social and ethical issues raised during the presentations. Panelists will include <color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Andrea Bonnicksen, John Fletcher, James D. Watson</color>, and the symposium speakers.

<center><underline><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param><bigger>Biographies of Symposium Participants</bigger>


</color><color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>W. French Anderson:</color>

Dr. Anderson is Director of Gene Therapy Laboratories and professor of biochemistry and pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. It was Dr. Anderson's pioneering efforts that led to the first human genetic engineering trials in 1991. Dr. Anderson holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He has published extensively, holds many Board and Editorial positions, and is Editor-in-Chief of Human Gene Therapy.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Andrea L. Bonnicksen:


Andrea Bonnicksen is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Bonnicksen has written various articles on preimplantation genetic diagnosis of human embryos, germline therapy, and other reproductive issues. She is the author of In Vitro Fertilization: Building Policy from Laboratories to Legislatures (Columbia University Press, 1989), co-editor of Emerging Issues in Biomedical Policy, and a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Mario Capecchi:


Dr. Capecchi received his doctorate from Harvard University and is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Human Genetics in the Department of Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Utah. His techniques for generating mice with specific targeted genes inactivated ("knock-out" mice) established a new way of exploring how genes work in mammals. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and his honors include the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for distinguished achievement in neuroscience, and the 1996 Kyoto Prize.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>John Fletcher:


John Fletcher received his Ph.D from the Union Theological Seminary (NYC). He researched his dissertation, "A Study of the Ethics of Medical Research", at the Clinical Center of the NIH, where he later served as the first chief of its bioethics program. In 1980, French Anderson and he coauthored an influential article on criteria for any trial of human gene therapy. He was one of the first in bioethics to explore the issues of germline gene therapy. In 1993 he was named Kornfield Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Leroy Hood:


Dr. Hood received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins Medical School and Ph.D. from Cal Tech. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1982, and co-edited The Code of Codes (Harvard 1993). Dr. Hood was the Bowles professor of Biology at Caltech until he joined the University of Washington in 1992 as the William Gates professor of Biomedical Sciences and founding chair of the Department of Molecular Biotechnology.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Daniel Koshland, Jr.:


Dr. Koshland received his doctorate from the University of Chicago. A professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley since 1965, Dr. Koshland was the editor of PNAS from 1980 to 1985 and of Science magazine from 1985 to 1995. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1979. Among his many honors are the Waterford Prize from the Scripps Institute and the National Medal of Science.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Michael Rose:


Dr. Rose received his doctorate from the University of Sussex, and is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine. He is the author of The Evolutionary Biology of Aging (1991 Oxford Univ. Press), and co-edited Genetics and Evolution of Aging with Caleb Finch. Dr. Rose's major research focus has been experimental tests of evolutionary theories of aging and fitness.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Lee Silver:


Dr. Silver received his doctorate from Harvard University. He is currently a professor at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology where he conducts research in mammalian genetics, evolution, reproduction, and developmental biology. Dr. Silver is the editor-in-chief of Mammalian Genome and the author of Mouse Genetics: Concepts and Applications (1995 Oxford Univ. Press) and Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World (1997 Avon).

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>James D. Watson:


James Watson, who shared a Nobel Prize with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1956 and became Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1976. From 1988-1992 , Dr. Watson functioned as Director of the National Center for Human Genome Research of the NIH where he established the Human Genome Project. Dr. Watson has won numerous honorary degrees and awards, and has been the President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1994.

Symposium Co-Organizers

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>John Campbell:</color>

Dr. Campbell received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and postdoctoral training at the Institut Pasteur, Paris and the CSIRO in Canberra Australia. He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences, first holder of the Robert Wesson Fellowship on Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy, and Professor of Neurobiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Campbell's fields of research are genetics and evolutionary theory.

<color><param>0000,8080,8080</param>Gregory Stock:


Gregory Stock received a Ph.D. from John Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from Harvard. In his 1993 book, Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism, he examined the evolutionary significance of humanity's rapid technological progress, and at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School looked at the implications of recent breakthroughs in molecular genetics. Dr. Stock is now the Director of the Science, Technology and Society Program at UCLA's Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life