The Gene Drive Research Forum provides a unique environment for interaction among a broad spectrum of stakeholders for engineered gene drive technologies to respectfully, yet openly, consider, discuss, and debate important challenging, controversial, or overlooked gene drive technology-related issues that will help build a sense of community among stakeholders and result in actionable considerations.


Stakeholder representatives from research (biology, ethics, social sciences, etc.), engagement practice, funding agencies, product development, regulation, and others from across academic, for-profit, government, international, and not-for-profit sectors interested in potential applications of gene drive technologies for conservation, food security and agriculture, or public health.

Virtual Panel Series

Unsettled Ethical Issues in Gene Drive Research July 13 to October 12, 2021

Humans have been altering their environment deliberately to address a wide range of needs and unintentionally through various activities for millennia, and likely will continue to do so. However, changes that are acceptable to some may appear unacceptable to others for very different reasons. What are the ethical concerns at play in these disagreements? This panel discussion series, co-hosted by McMaster University Institute on Ethics and Policy for Innovation and GeneConvene Global Collaborative, explored and juxtaposed various ethics perspectives and their relation to the emerging gene editing technologies collectively known as gene drive.

Considering the Case of Gene Drive Technologies Through Social Science Theories on Stakeholder Engagement February 9 to June 8, 2021

The GBIRd partnership and the GeneConvene Global Collaborative collaborated to develop and produce a series of virtual panel discussions that provided an opportunity for social scientists, researchers and developers, funders, and other stakeholders to explore the case of gene drive technologies through social science theories on stakeholder engagement. Topics included lessons from engagement practitioners on risk assessment, social criteria for selecting field sites, the role of consensus, and the independence of stakeholder engagement and technical project activities.


Past Meetings

November 15-16, 2022 Brussels, Belgium

To take stock of progress in the gene drive research field over the last five years, evaluated in the context of the five Principles for Gene Drive Research articulated in 2017, identifying the key gaps and challenges and priorities for the future.


FNIH GeneConvene Global Collaborative and the McMaster University Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation

December 13-15, 2021 Virtual

To explore how theoretical and practical engagement activities can be more closely integrated, how stakeholder views might be integrated into risk assessments, and how to improve regulatory capacity for scientists and regulators.


FNIH GeneConvene Global Collaborative and Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents Partnership

Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2019 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

To discuss common challenges related to gene drive nomenclature, research registries and data sharing among stakeholder participants.


African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and FNIH

September 11-13, 2018 Montréal, Canada

To enable in-person interactions and networking among the gene drive researcher and research sponsor/supporter communities and to facilitate discussions on areas of mutual interest.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research and FNIH

December 7, 2017 London, UK

To begin operationalizing the Guiding Principles for sponsors and supporters of gene drive research by identifying areas of mutual interest to work collectively.


FNIH and Wellcome Trust

March 22, 2017 Washington, D.C., USA

To discuss the status and challenges of gene drive research, areas of mutual interest, and the possibility of creating a mechanism to continue discussions and facilitate coordination and cooperation.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FNIH and Wellcome Trust


Initially, the Forum brought together representatives from organizations funding or otherwise supporting gene drive research projects to create and publish Principles for gene drive research. With 16 current signatory organizations, these principles are a living document. The developers and signatories of the Guiding Principles are committed to mobilizing and facilitating progress in gene drive research by supporting efforts of the highest scientific and ethical quality, inspiring a transparent approach and backing biosafety measures. The Forum has grown to include participation from a broad range of stakeholders (see above) and has expanded its activities in the gene drive sphere (see below).

Guiding Principles


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