"Genomic Engineering: What will it take to stay human?"

The YRT Team announces the 2017/Spring Faculty Roundtable at Yale to be held the evening of Tuesday, April 18, 2017.  The topic will be presented by the two renowned genome researchers, George Church, and James Sherley.  They will provide context for the faculty participants to consider some of the ethical dilemmas that have arisen as a result of the recent scientific breakthroughs in this field. 


George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding, leading to the first genome sequence in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generation" DNA sequencing methods and his lab's work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering have resulted in founding several application-based medical diagnostics companies. He has pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental & biosecurity policies and he is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 430 papers, 90 patent publications & one book (Regenesis).


James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert in stem cell biology. After a Harvard college degree in biology and joint doctorates in medicine and molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and post-doctoral studies in cancer cell molecular biology at Princeton University, he joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center as a principal investigator in 1991 to pursue new ideas on the adult tissue stem cell etiology of cancer. In 1998, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, focusing on stem cell research, until moving to Boston Biomedical Research Institute in 2007. In 2013 he founded biotechnology start-up company Asymmetrex, LLC, which he now directs. Dr. Sherley's research awards include 1993 Pew Biomedical Research Scholar, 2003 Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Research, and 2006 NIH Director's Pioneer Award.  He is also PGP-10 in the Personal Genome Project, led by George Church.


The Faculty Roundtable is sponsored by the Rivendell Institute at Yale University.