About the GeneConvene Global Collaborative

What GeneConvene does

GeneConvene advances best practices and informed decision making for development of genetic biocontrol technologies to improve public health. GeneConvene offers technical information, advice, training and coordination for research on gene drive and other genetic biocontrol technologies.

GeneConvene is a program of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), a U.S. not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization that creates and leads alliances that advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries and improve the quality of people’s lives. The FNIH is widely respected for its role as a neutral convener of multidisciplinary, multinational stakeholders to address challenging problems in biomedical research. GeneConvene builds on more than 10 years of work by the FNIH on genetic biocontrol approaches for public health: The GeneConvene team is experienced with important technical, regulatory and policy issues. Learn more about working with GeneConvene to advance the responsible exploration of genetic biocontrol tools.

GeneConvene currently focuses on exploration of the potential of gene drive technologies to combat mosquito-borne diseases, particularly malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes in Africa.

Contact us to support these activities or to discuss opportunities for GeneConvene to address other potential applications of genetic biocontrol technologies for public health.

Motivation and need for the GeneConvene Global Collaborative

Efforts to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, but the tools and resources available are not sufficient to protect everyone. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2018, there were 228 million cases of malaria and 405,000 deaths attributable to the disease, most of which were children under 5. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas where mosquitoes carry viruses with epidemic potential. Given the extent of the human suffering and financial hardship these diseases cause, there is an urgent need to evaluate new prevention tools.

What GeneConvene does

GeneConvene advances best practices and informed decision making for development of genetic biocontrol technologies to improve public health. GeneConvene offers technical information, advice, training and coordination for research on gene drive and other genetic biocontrol technologies.

GeneConvene is a program of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), a U.S. not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization that creates and leads alliances that advance breakthrough biomedical discoveries and improve the quality of people’s lives. The FNIH is widely respected for its role as a neutral convener of multidisciplinary, multinational stakeholders to address challenging problems in biomedical research. GeneConvene builds on more than 10 years of work by the FNIH on genetic biocontrol approaches for public health: The GeneConvene team is experienced with important technical, regulatory and policy issues. Learn more about working with GeneConvene to advance the responsible exploration of genetic biocontrol tools.

GeneConvene currently focuses on exploration of the potential of gene drive technologies to combat mosquito-borne diseases, particularly malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes in Africa.

Contact us to support these activities or to discuss opportunities for GeneConvene to address other potential applications of genetic biocontrol technologies for public health.

Motivation and need for the GeneConvene Global Collaborative

Efforts to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, but the tools and resources available are not sufficient to protect everyone. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2018, there were 228 million cases of malaria and 405,000 deaths attributable to the disease, most of which were children under 5. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas where mosquitoes carry viruses with epidemic potential. Given the extent of the human suffering and financial hardship these diseases cause, there is an urgent need to evaluate new prevention tools.

What GeneConvene does

GeneConvene advances best practices and informed decision making for development of genetic biocontrol technologies to improve public health. GeneConvene offers technical information, advice, training and coordination for research on gene drive and other genetic biocontrol technologies.

Building on more than 10 years of work by the FNIH on genetic biocontrol approaches for public health, the GeneConvene team is experienced with important technical, regulatory and policy issues. Learn more about working with GeneConvene to advance the responsible exploration of genetic biocontrol tools.

GeneConvene currently focuses on exploration of the potential of gene drive technologies to combat mosquito-borne diseases, particularly malaria transmission by Anopheles mosquitoes in Africa. Contact us to support these activities or to discuss opportunities for GeneConvene to address other potential applications of genetic biocontrol technologies for public health.

Motivation and need for the GeneConvene Global Collaborative

Efforts to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases save hundreds of thousands of lives every year, but the tools and resources available are not sufficient to protect everyone. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2018, there were 228 million cases of malaria and 405,000 deaths attributable to the disease, most of which were children under 5. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas where mosquitoes carry viruses with epidemic potential. Given the extent of the human suffering and financial hardship these diseases cause, there is an urgent need to evaluate new prevention tools.

 

Malaria Infographic

 

Genetic biocontrol technologies, including gene drive approaches, are attractive because they have the potential to be highly cost effective. Moreover, they do not require behavior change or investment of time and money from at-risk communities and individuals. Although biocontrol is a well-established strategy for pest management (introducing lady beetles to control aphids in the garden is one example), genetic biocontrol has only recently become possible. Like all new tools, it is important that it be safely, ethically and rigorously evaluated. Yet while there are established procedures for evaluating tools like vaccines, medicines and insecticides, similar procedures must still be developed for genetic biocontrol. The GeneConvene Global Collaborative was created to help fill that gap.

GeneConvene’s Goals

GeneConvene works to:

  • Ensure that genetic biocontrol research addresses important public health priorities ethically, safely and effectively
  • Support the development of genetic biocontrol governance frameworks that are rigorous and well-implemented at local, national, regional and international levels
  • Distribute timely and accurate information to help all stakeholders make informed and responsible decisions

GeneConvene's Capabilities

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Identifying and Addressing Key Questions

  • Anticipate key questions that will need to be addressed
  • Respond proactively, working with international experts to identify answers and solutions

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Providing Technical Advice

  • Scope scientific, regulatory and policy landscapes
  • Support independent risk assessment
  • Advise stakeholders on relevant issues and available resources

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Strengthening Capacity and Sharing Information

  • Provide technical training and information to scientists, regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders and publics
  • Facilitate communication within and among stakeholder groups

How GeneConvene works

 

Partner with Stakeholders:

Coordinate meaningful engagement and effective collaboration among stakeholder

Listen and Assess:

Consider and take into account needs expressed by a wide range of stakeholders

Convene and Facilitate:

Bring together experts with diverse knowledge and perspectives to enable broad exchange of ideas and address important issues.

Aggregate and Analyze:

Collect and synthesize information into accessible guidance and recommendations

Share and Advise:

Disseminate understanding through publications, presentations, meetings and trainings

 

As a neutral body, GeneConvene does not:

  • Conduct research to develop, test or implement gene drive or other genetic biocontrol products;
  • Fund such research directly or make decisions for funders;
  • Monitor compliance with accepted guidelines and regulations by genetic biocontrol research and development programs;
  • Participate in preparation or review of regulatory dossiers for genetic biocontrol products;
  • Create policy or regulations governing the development or use of genetic biocontrol technologies; or
  • Promote or advocate for specific genetic biocontrol products.
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