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News from the National Academies

June 15, 2015


Advisory Group for Human Gene Editing Initiative Named

WASHINGTON – The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine have formed an advisory group to counsel the NAS and NAM presidents on their new initiative on human gene editing.  The role of the advisory group will be to identify and gather information and advice from the scientific and medical communities that will enable the academies to guide and inform researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the public.


In May, the NAS and NAM announced the launch of a major initiative to guide decision making related to human gene-editing technologies that may lead to new treatments for diseases, but that could also be used to alter the human germline, which raises many concerns.  The initiative will include a comprehensive study by an international committee from a variety of fields and an international summit.  The advisory group announced today will be charged with identifying issues to be discussed at the summit and to be addressed by the study committee.


The members of the advisory group are:


David Baltimore1,2

President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology

California Institute of Technology



Paul Berg1,2

Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus

Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine

Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford, Calif.


R. Alta Charo2

Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics

School of Law, and

Department of Medical History and Bioethics

School of Medicine and Public Health

University of Wisconsin



Jennifer A. Doudna1,2


Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and


Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Department of Chemistry

University of California



Diane E. Griffin1,2

University Distinguished Service Professor

W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Johns Hopkins University



Richard O. Hynes1,2


Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and

Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Peter S. Kim1,2

Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry

Stanford ChEM-H

Department of Biochemistry

Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford, Calif.


Robin Lovell-Badge

Group Leader and Head

Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics

The Francis Crick Institute

London, United Kingdom


Edward E. Penhoet2

Associate Dean of Biology

University of California, Berkeley; and


Alta Partners

San Francisco


Maxine F. Singer1,2

President Emerita

Carnegie Institution for Science

Washington, D.C.


Marc T. Tessier-Lavigne1,2

President, and

Carson Family Professor

Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair

The Rockefeller University

New York City


Nancy S. Wexler2


Hereditary Disease Foundation; and

Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology

College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia University

New York City


Keith R. Yamamoto1,2

Vice Chancellor for Research,

Executive Vice Dean, and


Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

School of Medicine

University of California

San Francisco


Xu Zhihong


School of Life Sciences

Peking University, and


Committee for Scientific Morality and Ethics, Academic Divisions

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Beijing, China


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science policy advice to the nation under an 1863 congressional charter.  The Institute of Medicine, which was founded as the health arm of the NAS in 1970, will become the National Academy of Medicine effective July 1, 2015.  



1 Member, National Academy of Sciences

2 Member, Institute of Medicine