Gene Drive Research Consortium

The FNIH periodically convenes technical experts to discuss issues related to the safe and effective use of gene drive technology.

  • Safe and Ethical Testing of Gene Drive Mosquitoes Workshop: In 2018, the FNIH wrapped up a year-long effort to generate consensus recommendations for the safe and ethical testing of gene drive modified mosquitoes intended to reduce the burden of malaria transmission in Africa. The recommendations were developed over three multidisciplinary workshops, involving more than 40 internationally recognized experts spanning a variety of relevant fields of study. Workshop participants recommended a phased pathway for the responsible development of gene drive mosquito products, from initial discovery research to field testing to implementation, to inform researchers, funders, regulators and policy makers. This included in-depth considerations of safety and efficacy testing, risk assessment, ethics, engagement and regulatory requirements at each phase of the pathway.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Workshop: The FNIH sponsored a three-day workshop in November 2017 in Reston, VA that brought together bioethicists and stakeholder engagement practitioners. Participants discussed the development of guidance related to best practices for stakeholder engagement and informed consent for interventions intended to operate at the community, rather than individual, level as is the case for many vector control tools, including gene drive. A report is being developed as background for future activities of the gene drive sponsors and supporters’ forum on this topic.
  • Researcher Communications Forum: In November 2017, the FNIH convened approximately 70 individuals conducting or interested in gene drive research for a one-day workshop on communications in Baltimore, MD. Workshop participants included scientists with interests in global health, conservation and agriculture and discussed how emerging technologies are perceived by the public. Participants agreed on the utility of bringing this group together on a periodic basis to share information of mutual interest.

Contact

For more information, please contact GeneDrivePrograms@fnih.org.