Synthetic gene drive technology has the potential to spread an edited gene throughout a population over a small number of generations. Some modifications could lead to the elimination of entire populations.
The potential benefits of this technology to humanity are substantial - we could control the spread of invasive pests and even eradicate mosquito-borne diseases like malaria. But what are the barriers to creating successful gene drives? And what are the risks and unintended consequences of releasing self-driving, quick-spreading gene technologies into the wild? Under which conditions should we consider the use of this technology?
This event assembles experts from across the globe leading both the science and the social debate around this technology.
About the panel
CHAIR - Associate Professor Lee Rollins, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW
Lee’s research uses molecular data to explain the mechanisms underlying rapid evolution often seen in invasive populations and improve the management of invasive and conserved species.
Professor Neil Gemmell, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago
Neil’s research blends ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology with recent technological spin-offs from genome projects.
Olivia Majorin, Target Malaria, Imperial College London
Olivia is the Communication Officer for Target Malaria, a not-for-profit research consortium aiming to develop and share innovative tools which use genetic approaches to contribute to malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Owain Edwards, Environmental & Synthetic Genomics, CSIRO (Perth)
Owain applies his expertise in insect genomics to lead CSIRO research programs in genetic pest control technologies and invertebrate ecotoxicology.