Biotech Updates

Experts Discuss Role of Gene Drives in Addressing Health and Biodiversity Challenges

November 22, 2023

Stakeholder and regulator engagement is vital for gene drive research to be successful and helpful to biodiversity conservation, according to Prof. Paul Thomas, Genome Editing Program Director at The University of Adelaide. He mentioned this during the webinar titled Genetic Tools For Conservation and Health: What's The Role of Gene Drives? held on November 16, 2023.

The webinar, organized by the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research, ISAAA Inc., and the Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC), tackled the fundamentals of gene drive and its significance for global health and conservation, presenting some of its prevailing applications under consideration.

Dr. Nina Gloriani, Clinical Microbiology Consultant at St. Luke's Medical Center in Manila, discussed the major health challenges in the Philippines and the potential impact of gene drive in addressing them. Dr. Carmelita Villamor, former Chief Science Research Specialist at the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), presented the invasive alien species in the Philippines and the challenges in controlling their populations. Dr. Brian Tarimo, Senior Research Specialist at Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, defined gene drive and the current applications of the technology in vector control. Prof. Thomas tackled the role of gene drives in suppressing invasive species such as rodents. After the presentations, questions from the participants were addressed by the experts.

A total of 834 participants joined the webinar via Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, Global Coordinator of ISAAA-BioTrust and Executive Director of MABIC, moderated the discussions.

Visit ISAAA Webinars to watch the webinar on demand.

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