Conversations on Science, Society and the Future of Gene Editing

June 20-21, 2019
Wageningen, The Netherlands

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ABOUT THE EVENT

Conversations on Science, Society & the Future of Gene Editing

CRISPRcon creates a unique forum in which a broad selection of diverse voices come together to discuss the future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across a variety of applications in agriculture, health, conservation and more.

CRISPRcon is a program of Keystone Policy Center. CRISPRcon 2019 was hosted by Wageningen University and Research.

To view information from CRISPRcon 2018 in Boston, MA, click here.

To view information from CRISPRcon 2017 in Berkeley, CA, click here.

AGENDA

  • Registration Opens; Coffee and Networking

  • Welcome and Introductions

    Ernst van den Ende
    Wageningen University & Research

    Ernst van den Ende

    Wageningen University & Research

    Ernst van den Ende studied plant pathology at Wageningen University and took his Ph.D. at the Phytopathology Chair Group. He then worked as a scientist at several research stations in the fields of fruit cultivation and horticulture. Research by the WUR research stations has a strong regional focus. When the Greenports were established in the Netherlands, Ernst participated in several advisory councils where he contributed to the shaping of regional innovation. In 2009 he became managing director of the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen University & Research. In 2011, the Netherlands’ top nine economic sectors excelling internationally in business and research were identified by the Dutch government for additional funding and partnerships through the creation of Top Sectors. Ernst was selected for the leadership board, or Top Team, of the Top Sector Horticulture and Propagation Materials as the knowledge institution representative.

    Julie Shapiro
    Keystone Policy Center

    Julie Shapiro

    Keystone Policy Center

    Julie has 15 years of experience as a facilitator, mediator, and educator. Julie directs the emerging technologies and natural resources programs at Keystone Policy Center, where she creates, facilitates, and sustains strategic partnerships and collaborations, enabling common understanding and forging shared solutions to complex problems. Julie creates and facilitates pathways for diverse government, business, academic, and NGO leaders to reach common higher ground on challenging natural resource and societal issues, helping to move stakeholders from contention to collaboration. Substantive focus areas include gene editing and other emerging technologies, sustainable agriculture production, pollinator health, and natural resource management including water resources, biodiversity, oil and gas development, and recreation. Julie has designed and facilitated stakeholder dialogues, public engagement processes, strategic planning processes, and summits on international, national, regional, state, and local scales. Julie holds a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder and bachelor’s degrees in geosciences and English from Williams College.

  • Panel Discussion Personal Reflections: The Promise and Perils of Gene Editing CRISPR and other gene editing technologies pose sweeping implications for our food, health and ecosystems. As we contemplate the future of gene editing, how do societal narratives and personal stories of those most affected illuminate and shape critical conversations about what is at stake in using — and not using — these technologies?

    Sijas Akkerman
    Nature and Environment Federation North-Holland

    Sijas Akkerman

    Nature and Environment Federation North-Holland

    As director of the Natuur & Milieufederatie Noord-Holland (Nature & Environment Federation North Holland) since February 2017, Sijas likes to pull several strings at the same time. He believes government, companies, consumers, and science are desperately needed to make North Holland and the Netherlands greener, healthier, and more sustainable, and he strives to bring these parties together to achieve more sustainability. Examples of this include: five food forests built in North Holland with farmers; a roof garden at the Pennemes care institution producing healthy food in the city; the Living Lab for Nature Inclusive Agriculture set up with 25 farmers; the Honest about Flying campaign; the Biodiversity Delta Plan; and a diaper recycling factory in Amsterdam. His motto is “There is always a way to Rome, if you know where Rome is.” And for him, Rome is a healthy and sustainable North Holland.

    Alfred Grand
    Organic Farmer

    Alfred Grand

    Organic Farmer

    Alfred Grand is an organic arable field farmer and entrepreneur from Austria. Together with his business partner, Leopold Fischer, Alfred is the biggest employer in Austria. Eight million earthworms are working 24/7, producing organic fertilizer, soil amendments, and peat-free soil substrates. His 90-hectare (225-acre) organic family farm has been converted into Grand Farm for Research and Demonstration. Alfred is involved in several activities at the European Innovation Partnership for agriculture (EIP-Agri) and a range of Horizon2020 projects. Alfred has won several innovation awards and is co-author of the book “Make Your Own Fertilizer.”

    Kabasinguzi Betty Kaahwa
    Small Business Owner

    Kabasinguzi Betty Kaahwa

    Small Business Owner

    Kabasinguzi Betty Kaahwa is a businesswoman working near the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI). She is married with three children. She holds a diploma in fisheries management and technology, and she worked with the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) as sub-county NAADS coordinator before she joined the business world.

    An Michiels
    Syngenta

    An Michiels

    Syngenta

    Formerly the head of R&D at Hazera, An Michiels is transitioning to a new role as the head of seeds development (Europe, Africa, and Middle East) for Syngenta. Prior to Hazera, An spent five years at Bayer Crop Science in research leadership positions working in field and vegetable crops. In 2005, she founded as CEO the biotechnology company, Keygene, in Rockville, Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in applied biological science from the University of Leuven and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville and the University of Maryland, College Park.

    Fr. Joseph Tham
    Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University

    Fr. Joseph Tham

    Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University

    Fr. S. Joseph Tham was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada at the age of 15. At the University of Toronto, he first majored in mathematical sciences and then graduated from medical school. After several years as a family physician, he entered the seminary of the Legionaries of Christ and was ordained a priest in 2004. As part of this preparation, he obtained degrees in philosophy and theology at Rome’s Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, where he also completed his post-graduate studies in bioethics. He successfully defended his doctoral dissertation with high honours on “The Secularization of Bioethics — A Critical History.” He is former dean of the School of Bioethics in Regina Apostolorum where he presently teaches bioethics. He is a fellow of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books, including The Missing Cornerstone (2004), The Secularization of Bioethics (2007), Bioetica al Futuro [Bioethics of the Future] (2010), Religious Perspectives on Human Vulnerability in Bioethics (2014), Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights (2017), Sexuality, Gender and Education (2018), Religious Perspectives on Social Responsibility in Health (2018), and Interreligious Perspectives on Mind, Genes and the Self (2018).

    Moderator

    Erika Widegren
    Re-Imagine Europa

    Erika Widegren

    Re-Imagine Europa

    Erika is chief executive of Re-Imagine Europa (RIE), the first incubator for new political ideas for Europe co-founded together with president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The aim of RIE is to redefine how long-term policy and vision is developed through the use of new technologies to foster a dynamic public discourse, collective intelligence, and realistic solutions for the benefit of a stronger, fairer, and more competitive Europe. Erika has been working in the field of connecting science, society, and policy for over a decade. She is fellow at PlusValue, a UK-based European company focusing on social innovation; she is board member of Citizen Communication Platform, a Swedish project to promote stronger communication with citizens; and member of the committee supporting the work of Luc Van den Brande, Special Adviser to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, for the Report on the “Outreach towards Citizen” Strategy.

  • Prarthana Mohanraju
    Wageningen University & Research

    Prarthana Mohanraju

    Wageningen University & Research

    Prarthana Mohanraju holds a master’s degree in biotechnology, specializing in molecular and cellular biology from Wageningen University & Research. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in John van der Oost’s group at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University. Her doctoral research focuses on the exploration and characterization of novel CRISPR-Cas proteins for their exploitation in biotechnology and medicine.

  • Keynote A Conversation on CRISPR Science and Policy This interview with two of our CRISPRcon hosts from Wageningen University & Research — an award-winning CRISPR researcher and a global thought leader on agriculture and science policy — will explore current developments in the gene editing field, the role of scientists in societal debate, and the future of gene editing education and policy in the Netherlands and beyond.

    Louise O. Fresco
    Wageningen University and Research

    Louise O. Fresco

    Wageningen University and Research

    Louise O. Fresco has been president of the Wageningen University & Research executive board since 2014. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and academies in four other countries as well as a visiting distinguished scholar at the Academy of Sciences of South Africa. In April, she became independent non-executive director of the Syngenta board of directors with special attention for scientific innovations for the purpose of healthy, sustainable food production. Her career combines many years in academics as a professor in Wageningen and Amsterdam with extensive involvement in policy and development. Louise spent nine years with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and she earned her doctorate in tropical plant production systems from Wageningen University in 1986.

    John van der Oost
    Wageningen University and Research

    John van der Oost

    Wageningen University and Research

    John van der Oost is considered a CRISPR pioneer for his fundamental work unraveling the mechanism of CRISPR-based immunity in bacteria, paving the way for CRISPR genome editing. In 2008, John and coworkers were the first to demonstrate that the CRISPR-Cas system uses an RNA-guided mechanism to target specific DNA. This example was then used by research groups for a wide range of applications and revolutionary treatments for diseases including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and HIV. Since 1995, John has led the Wageningen University Lab of Microbiology bacterial genetics group. In 2018, he and his group were awarded the Spinoza Prize and received 2.5 million euros, the largest science prize in the Netherlands, to fund new research on the CRISPR immune system and other systems in bacteria.

    Moderator

    Joost Van Kasteren
    Science Writer

    Joost Van Kasteren

    Science Writer

    Joost van Kasteren studied molecular sciences at Wageningen University. After obtaining his degree he became a freelance journalist, writing about science and technology for newspapers and magazines. He wrote and co-authored several books and essays. For six years he was president of the VWN, the Dutch Association for Science Journalism. He is now editor-in-chief of Vork, a magazine on agriculture, food, and nature management.

  • Break Participant-led roundtable conversations on gene editing topics across a variety of applications and issues.

  • Aurelie Jouanin
    Wageningen University & Research

    Aurelie Jouanin

    Wageningen University & Research

    Aurélie studied plant biology and breeding since starting at university in France in 2006. She quickly moved to the Netherlands where she earned a master’s in plant biotechnology at Wageningen University. Her studies were accompanied by several internships at seeds companies where she focused on plant transformation and genome editing. She then started her Ph.D. between the department of plant breeding in Wageningen University and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge, UK. Her research was on gene editing for hypoimmunogenic gluten protein in wheat, which will be the topic of her CRISPRcon presentation. She is currently a research scientist focusing on plant gene editing at KWS, a German seed company.

  • Taco Kooij
    Radboud University Medical Centre

    Taco Kooij

    Radboud University Medical Centre

    Taco Kooij is a molecular/cellular parasitologist particularly interested in how malaria parasite biology has adapted to facilitate the switching between vertebrate and mosquito hosts. After studying chemistry at Utrecht University and the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), he finished his Ph.D. at the Leiden University Medical Centre on a comparative genome analysis of malaria parasites. Over the next 10 years, he studied molecular and cellular biological aspects of malaria parasites at the University of Oxford and the National Blood Service, the Heidelberg University School of Medicine, and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. In 2008, he won the Merial Award for Parasitology, and in 2014, he was awarded an NWO-ALW Vidi grant, which facilitated his return to the Netherlands. In recent years, he has been using insights from his previous studies for the development of novel antimalarials and live, whole-parasite vaccines. He aims to unravel the functioning of the malaria parasite endosymbiotic organelles, the mitochondrion and apicoplast, particularly during host-switching, using experimental and computational approaches. Recently, he was selected as a European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) young investigator.

  • Panel Discussion CRISPR Cures: Gene Editing in Personal and Public Health Gene editing offers the potential to treat and prevent life-threatening diseases and afflictions. But these potential CRISPR ‘cures’ also open up questions about personal choice, privacy and even ‘playing God’ with both humans and other species. How could gene editing be used for good in personal and public health — and when might it lead us astray?

    J Patrick Clarke
    European Disability Forum

    J Patrick Clarke

    European Disability Forum

    Pat Clarke is the vice president of the European Disability Forum, former chief executive of Down Syndrome Ireland, and past president of Down Syndrome International. His 37-year-old son, David, has Down syndrome. Pat is immediate past chair of the Disability Federation of Ireland and has served on the boards of the Children Rights Alliance Ireland and on the governing body of the International Disability Alliance. He was a member of the Council of Europe Committee, which investigated the involvement of persons with disabilities in political and public life. His involvement with the Disability Federation of Ireland, European Disability Forum, and the International Disability Alliance gives him a pan-disability perspective on all the issues. He has been a longtime advocate for the full inclusion of people with Down syndrome, in particular, and all people with disabilities, in general, at every level in society.

    Dr. Hans-Juergen Fuelle
    Novartis

    Dr. Hans-Juergen Fuelle

    Novartis

    Hans-Juergen is a physician scientist with extensive experience in research and drug development in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. He is responsible for therapeutic areas such as ophthalmology, hepatology, nephrology, and hematology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), providing regulatory leadership for rare diseases programs, regenerative medicines, and advanced therapy medicinal products. Previously he held strategic roles in regulatory affairs across all stages of global development of medicinal products from early to confirmatory clinical development, registration, and post-marketing in the U.S., EU, and other major regions.

    Jorn Hartman
    former Coeliac Youth of Europe

    Jorn Hartman

    former Coeliac Youth of Europe

    Jorn Hartman was born in 1988 in the Netherlands. He studied in the field of molecular technology and finished his bachelor’s degree in 2011. Then he worked at Wageningen University for four years before working at the Amsterdam Medical Center as a technician on microbiota-related projects. Outside of work, he volunteers for the Dutch coeliac society as regional financial manager. He also volunteered for many years with the society’s youth group managing finances and helping organize events and activities. In 2018, he helped organize a Coeliac Youth of Europe gluten-free summer camp in the Netherlands for coeliac patients between 18 and 30 years old from all over Europe.

    Jeantine Lunshof
    MIT Media Lab and University Medical Center Groningen

    Jeantine Lunshof

    MIT Media Lab and University Medical Center Groningen

    Jeantine Lunshof is a philosopher-ethicist at MIT Media Lab. Her work focuses on conceptual and normative questions in genomics and biological engineering. Jeantine employs the unique approach of work-floor-based ethics research, which enables truly collaborative work with bench scientists from the earliest stages of research and discovery. Her current work is on the neuroethics of bioengineered brain models and on the development of “collaborative ethics” with ethicists and synthetic biologists. She is a longtime collaborator of George Church. Jeantine holds a bachelor’s in philosophy with a minor in Tibetan language and culture from the University of Hamburg (Germany), a master’s in philosophy with minor in health law from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), and a Ph.D. from VU University Amsterdam. Her prior work has been in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. For the Personal Genome Project directed by George Church at Harvard Medical School, she developed the innovative model of open consent. As an assistant professor at the University Medical Center Groningen (Netherlands), she has been investigating the normative questions raised by the use of genetic imputation within a population isolate.

    Ritu Nalubola
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration Europe Office

    Ritu Nalubola

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration Europe Office

    Ritu Nalubola, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Europe Office. Prior to taking on this role in July 2018, she served as a senior policy advisor in FDA’s Office of Policy in the Office of the Commissioner. She has advised senior leadership at FDA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other U.S. government agencies on complex and cross-cutting policy issues, including biotechnology, nanotechnology, food safety, nutrition, and trade-related matters. Most recently, Ritu has served as the primary lead for FDA’s efforts, working in conjunction with the broader U.S. government, to modernize the federal regulatory system for biotechnology products, and has been the agency’s voice on this subject in numerous domestic and international forums. She has led and coordinated FDA’s nanotechnology regulatory policy activities and played a leadership role in establishing specific regulations to implement the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, representing and leading FDA delegations in multilateral standards-setting and scientific dialogues. Prior to joining the Office of Policy in 2009, Ritu spent eight years at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition on a range of nutrition and food safety policy matters. She joined FDA in 2001.

    Moderator

    Katie Ledingham
    University of Exeter

    Katie Ledingham

    University of Exeter

    Katie is a social scientist based at the University of Exeter where she studies the shifting interrelationships between science, culture, technology, and health. Katie’s most recent work has investigated the challenges and opportunities associated with the design and development of genetically modified mosquitoes to tackle malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Katie has a Ph.D. in human geography and a long-standing interest in the role of empirical philosophy in helping to open up new possibilities for change and more convivial political futures. Katie works closely with a variety of external partners including policy makers, technology developers, and governing bodies.

  • Lunch

  • Ideas Marketplace: Participant-led roundtable discussions on gene editing and society.

  • Remarks

    Vytenis Andriukaitis
    European Commission

    Vytenis Andriukaitis

    European Commission

    Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis was appointed European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety in November 2014. He was born in 1951 in Siberia after his family was deported there in 1941. He returned to Lithuania in 1959 with his mother and two brothers, and his father was allowed to return a year later. Vytenis graduated in medicine in 1975 and was a practicing surgeon, specializing in cardiovascular surgery, for more than 20 years. He also holds a degree in history from Vilnius University acquired in 1984. Starting in 1969 he was active in the anti-Soviet movement, and he was one of the founders of the Lithuanian social-democrat party. In 1990 he was elected to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, which preceded Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), and he was one of the co-authors of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania adopted in 1992 as well as a signatory of the independence act of Lithuania. Vytenis was a Member of Parliament for six mandates. During that time, he has been deputy chair of the European Affairs Committee, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and vice-president of the social-democrat party. He has also led the Lithuanian delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. From 2012 to 2014, Vytenis was the Minister for Health.

  • Martina Helmlinger
    Wageningen University & Research

    Martina Helmlinger

    Wageningen University & Research

    Martina is a biotech and food safety student intrigued by the interplay of science and politics. She is fascinated by biotech innovations and the exploitation of their added value for society as a whole in a sustainable and ethically acceptable manner. Currently, she has co-initiated a citizen’s initiative on the modernization of the EU’s GMO legislation.

  • Marc van Mil
    University Medical Centre Utrecht

    Marc van Mil

    University Medical Centre Utrecht

    Marc van Mil is associate professor biomedical education at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. In 2017 he was awarded Higher Education Teacher of the Year in the Netherlands. In his current work he focuses on the ethical and societal implications of biomedical innovations, both in his teaching and in his educational research. As a “DNA teacher” he gave many public lectures and participated in talk shows, science festivals, children’s TV shows, and YouTube clips. He is one of the ambassadors for the national dialogue on CRISPR technologies in the human germline that is currently organised in the Netherlands.

  • Panel Discussion The Evolution of Innovation: What Drives Societal Embrace or Rejection of Emerging Technologies? From vaccinations and automobiles to nuclear fission and the smartphone, history demonstrates that humans have complex reactions to and relationships with technology. What influences how societies view, value and engage with technological innovation? What does history teach us about the emergence of new technology and how should that shape our views on gene editing?

    Steffi Friedrichs
    AcumenIST

    Steffi Friedrichs

    AcumenIST

    Steffi Friedrichs has been a leading expert, policy advisor, and business representative for emerging technological innovation for nearly 20 years. She is currently the founder and director of AcumenIST, an internationally active consultancy that drives the advancement of science- and technology-based innovations through proactive initiatives in the public and private sector. Before joining AcumenIST, Steffi worked for the OECD, where she developed its definition, indicators, and impact assessment of biotechnology and nanotechnology and led two international workshops on genome editing. Steffi has a strong track record in the establishment, development, and representation of technology-based companies; she was the founder and general director of the Nanotechnology Industry Association (NIA) group, co-founder and member of the board of directors of the Chicago Micro- & Nanotechnology Community (CMNC), director of the master’s program in micro- and nanotechnology at the University of Cambridge, and lecturer in inorganic chemistry and solid state chemistry at the University of Oxford. Steffi has a GBR Ph.D. (DPhil) from the University of Oxford (U.K.) specializing in nanotechnology and a DiplChem Title from the Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany), as well as a GBR diploma in higher education (DipHE).

    Dr. Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge
    Anthra

    Dr. Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge

    Anthra

    Dr. Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge is a veterinarian with a specialization in veterinary surgery. She has been working on issues related to development and the environment since 1986. She is one of the founders of Anthra and presently the director. Her work includes research, training, and policy advocacy on different aspects of livestock development especially on systems of health care and planning for gender-sensitive and sustainable ways of farming and livestock rearing. A special focus for her now is pastoral nomadic communities and the animals they rear. She has several significant publications on the themes of livestock development, biodiversity, and systems of veterinary medicine. She is the author of the book “Livestock and Livelihoods: The Indian Context” published by Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, and Foundation Books New Delhi.

    Joris Lohman
    Food Hub

    Joris Lohman

    Food Hub

    Joris Lohman is founder and director of Food Hub, a social enterprise that aims to accelerate the transition to a good, clean, and circular food system. Food Hub provides services that help food professionals, companies, governments, and NGOs to better understand the dynamics of the changing food system and provides clients with tools to create a bigger impact on the transition of the food system. Over the years, Food Hub has cultivated a large international network of entrepreneurs and young professionals across the agrifood value chain. Food Hub organizes training programs, summer schools, academies, and business-accelerating programs – such as the Food Chain Accelerator for start-ups and scale-ups in the food business – and helps develop innovative business models for entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector. Joris writes articles for de Volskrant, Trouw, and RTLZ about food and sustainability. He was elected in the Trouw Duurzame 100, a list of the most influential people in the field of sustainability in the Netherlands, three times.

    Anita van Mil
    Hopkins Van Mil

    Anita van Mil

    Hopkins Van Mil

    Anita van Mil is director of research and engagement at Hopkins Van Mil: Creating Connections Ltd (HVM). HVM facilitates engagement so that voices are heard, learning is shared, and understanding achieved. The team specialises in social research programmes which give people a voice on complex issues where the answers for society are as yet unclear. HVM puts people at the centre of big issues by asking questions, listening, and providing a forum for dialogue. In the last five years, Anita has project-managed over 20 HVM social research and public engagement programmes, including The Royal Society’s programme on genetic technologies (2017-18) and neural interfaces (2018-19) and a yearlong programme of dialogues on the future of food, nutrition, health and the environment for Wellcome Trust. Anita facilitates workshops and leads on HVM’s data coding, analysis, and report writing.

    Robert Smith
    University of Edinburgh

    Robert Smith

    University of Edinburgh

    Rob is a social scientist based at the University of Edinburgh where he studies the governance of emerging biotechnologies like genome editing, genome synthesis, and previously biofuels. He works closely with scientists and policy makers to explore people’s relationships between knowledge and democracies, and he’s particularly interested in understanding how technologies can be ‘directed’ to the benefit of societies. His work at Edinburgh builds on two years’ worth of researching, intervening, and scheming (sometimes with scientists) at the King’s College London Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in science and technology studies at the University of Nottingham and originally trained as a biologist there.

    Moderator

    Marianne Heselmans
    Independent Science Writer and Biologist

    Marianne Heselmans

    Independent Science Writer and Biologist

    Marianne loves hiking, reading, and playing folk-violin. As an independent biologist and science writer, she specializes in biotechnology and environmental issues. Over the last 25 years, she has written hundreds of background articles for professional journals, newspapers, and sites. She has edited scientific reports and led training courses on science communication. In this way, she helps make trends visible and meaningful.

  • Henri Woelders
    Wageningen University & Research

    Henri Woelders

    Wageningen University & Research

    Henri Woelders is a senior research scientist at the Animal Breeding and Genomics (ABG) group of Wageningen University & Research. Henri obtained a master’s degree in cell biology at Leiden University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam. Since then he moved to DLO (currently Wageningen University & Research) as senior researcher on gamete biology, male and female fertility, reproductive technology, and germplasm conservation. His work covers all major farm animal species.

  • Katarina Cankar
    Wageningen University & Research

    Katarina Cankar

    Wageningen University & Research

    Katja obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the topic of safety assessment and traceability of GM plants. After her studies she moved to the Netherlands and is now working as a plant scientist and project leader at Wageningen University & Research. Her research interest lies in the discovery and exploration of the vast richness of compounds from plants that are responsible for their pharmaceutical, health-promoting, and flavour properties. She is one of the initiators of the multidisciplinary EU-CHIC project to establish root chicory as a multipurpose crop with consumer benefits via genome editing.

  • Panel Discussion Growing for Good? Gene Editing and Agriculture Gene editing could control crop pests, improve animal welfare, enhance nutrition, increase yields and more. What are the potential solutions and problems created or perpetuated by gene editing, including those related to social, economic and environmental outcomes? What are the right expectations for gene editing in agriculture? How can we ensure societal benefit?

    Johan van Arendonk
    Hendrix Genetics

    Johan van Arendonk

    Hendrix Genetics

    Johan van Arendonk was born on a dairy farm in Bavel, a small village in the south of the Netherlands, and received his master’s degree in animal science in 1982 at Wageningen University followed by his doctorate. From 1985 onward, he worked at the Wageningen University Department of Animal Breeding, becoming personal chair in 1998 and full professor in 2002. His animal breeding and genetics research covers a wide spectrum of topics and species. The emphasis in his career has changed from doing research to coaching people involved in research and training, teaching new generations, and building and managing a team of professionals. Under his leadership, the animal breeding and genomics centre at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) has become one of the top groups at the university and in its domain internationally. Johan co-authored over 300 papers in scientific journals and supervised 93 Ph.D. candidates. In 2016, he started as chief innovation and technology officer at Hendrix Genetics, a leading breeding company headquartered in Boxmeer with primary activities in layer poultry, traditional poultry, turkey, pig, and aquaculture breeding. He contributes to strengthening the research and product development activities in line with the company’s vision “Better breeding today. Brighter life tomorrow.” The company is dedicated to generating solutions for the animal protein sector that solve the challenges of today and those of tomorrow. Backed by a portfolio of leading brands, Hendrix Genetics provides expertise and resources to producers in more than 100 countries, with operations and joint ventures in 25 countries and nearly 3,300 employees worldwide.

    Patience Koku
    Replenish Farms

    Patience Koku

    Replenish Farms

    Patience is a graduate of political science and an accomplished entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience spanning various industries including fashion and agriculture. She has been crop farming on a commercial scale since 2012 and harvests over 1000 hectares annually on farms irrigated with center pivot systems growing maize seed and grain. She is on the board of several companies including Replenish Farms Ltd; 1 hectare 1 family Nig Ltd, a company working toward cropping 200,000 hectares in the next five years to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by granting them access to mechanization, innovation, and technology; and Yieldwise Seeds, a company dedicated to growing good quality seed for farmers.

    Niels Louwaars
    Plantum

    Niels Louwaars

    Plantum

    Niels Louwaars is director of Plantum, the association of companies in the Netherlands dealing in plant reproductive materials. Trained as a plant breeder at Wageningen University, he spent about 10 years in Asia and Africa working in development projects before returning to Wageningen, where he worked for 20 years in positions dealing with international cooperation and research. Based on that international experience he developed the concept of Integrated Seed Sector Development, providing policy space for a variety of formal and informal seed systems. His Ph.D. dealt with the interplay of policies and regulatory issues related to seeds and plant genetic resources, including intellectual property rights (WTO), national sovereign rights on biological diversity (CBD and IT-PGRFA), Farmers’ Rights (IT-PGRFA), and national seed laws. During that period, he assisted several countries and institutions like the World Bank and FAO in designing policies in this area. At Wageningen University and Research, he also managed an organization-wide international programme and represented the organization in the CGIAR. He was also sworn in as member of the Plant Breeder’s Rights chamber of the district court in The Hague. Currently he represents the Netherlands seed sector nationally and internationally.

    Leon Mol
    Ahold Delhaize

    Leon Mol

    Ahold Delhaize

    Leon Mol was educated as an agronomist at Wageningen University. He started his career establishing a large potato farm in Egypt followed by an international, technical, and commercial job in the potato sector. Later, Leon was employed as agronomist at Albert Heijn (the Netherlands) working on long-term availability and sustainability of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and other plants. Now, Leon is director of product safety and social compliance at Ahold Delhaize. The global scope of activities includes food safety, social compliance, animal welfare, and sustainability of animal- and plant-related products.

    Tom Wakeford
    ETC Group

    Tom Wakeford

    ETC Group

    Tom is based at ETC Group, (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration) and is honorary associate professor at the University of Exeter’s Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. His original training was as a biologist. For the last 20 years, he has been involved in organising deliberative processes in collaboration with civil society organisations, including around 25 processes of participatory technology assessment, such as Citizen Foresight (1998), Prajateerpu (2001), Our Food (2014). Other democratising initiatives in which he has been involved have focused on racism and other aspects of social justice. He has attempted to make use of his privilege as a white middle-class man with a science doctorate and 30 years’ experience of working within neoliberal universities to co-create spaces for voice with those whose knowledge has been marginalised. He acknowledges his debt to those individuals and organisations from oppressed communities, particularly in the UK and India, with whom he has worked towards this shared objective. He is the author and co-editor of articles and books on issues ranging across the sciences and humanities, including Everyday Experts (2017), People’s Knowledge: Escaping the White-Walled Labyrinth (2016), Empowered Participation (2008), Liaisons of Life (2001) and Science for the Earth (1995). He is a fellow of the Linnean Society and a member of the Strategic Peer Review College of the Global Challenges Research Fund, a UK government fund to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by countries of the Global South. He lives in London and loves sailing.

    Moderator

    Hidde Boersma
    Freelance Journalist

    Hidde Boersma

    Freelance Journalist

    Hidde Boersma is a freelance science writer and documentary filmmaker with a background in molecular biology. He writes for various Dutch daily newspapers and magazine, mainly on agriculture, biotechnolology, and ethics. He is a co-author of the book “Ecomodernism” (2017) and “Feeding the City” (2018). In 2017 he debuted with the documentary “Well Fed” where he researched the influence of Western resistance to GMOs on the lives of smallholder famers in Bangladesh. He is now working on his second film, which will be on using gene drive mosquitoes to combat malaria.

  • Closing Remarks and Reception

  • Coffee and networking

  • Welcome

  • Keynote The Story of Us: How Our Genes Explain Our Past and Inform Our Future After earning a doctorate in genetics, Adam Rutherford spent 10 years as an editor for the journal Nature, and in 2013, he became host of the BBC Radio 4 weekly program "Inside Science." He has presented BBC television and radio documentaries on topics including genetics and human evolution, science and cinema, and scientific fraud. His latest book is The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us and before that his best-seller A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived retold human history using genetics.

    Adam Rutherford
    Geneticist, Writer, Broadcaster

    Adam Rutherford

    Geneticist, Writer, Broadcaster

    After earning a doctorate in genetics, Adam Rutherford spent 10 years as audio-visual editor for the journal Nature, and in 2013, he became host of the BBC Radio 4 weekly program “Inside Science.” He has presented BBC television and radio documentaries on topics including genetics and human evolution, science and cinema, and scientific fraud. His latest book is “The Book of Humans,” on nature’s most paradoxical animal, and before that his best-seller “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived” retold human history using genetics.

  • Break

  • Pauline Jehannet
    Wageningen University & Research

    Pauline Jehannet

    Wageningen University & Research

    While doing her master’s in evolution, biodiversity and conservation at Leiden University, Pauline executed an internship from February to December 2016 entitled “Artificial reproduction of European eel: simulated migration, ultrasonography and early ontogeny” under the supervision of Dr. Arjan Palstra at Wageningen University & Research. Pauline later became a junior researcher from September 2017 to January 2019 in the same group where she was involved in studying the initiation of vitellogenesis in eels and removing the dopaminergic inhibition with CRISPR-Cas9 in zebrafish. In 2019, Pauline started her Ph.D. during which she will study final oocyte maturation, ovulation, fertilization, and early development of European eel in order to improve the current protocols and produce robust eel larvae.

  • Lightning Presentation CRISPR Creations: Science, Art & Biohacking

    Lucas Evers
    Waag

    Lucas Evers

    Waag

    Lucas Evers joined Waag in 2007 and is currently leading Waag’s Open Wet Lab, a laboratory where arts, design, sciences, engineering and the public meet to research biotechnologies and their impact on society and ecology. Lucas is actively involved in several projects that concern the interactions between the arts and sciences, arts and ethics, and the arts in a contemporary makers culture. He trained in fine arts and teaching at Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design and studied politics at the University of Amsterdam. His interests lie in the ways we can learn from the interactions, differences, and similarities between artistic, scientific, and other cultures of research.

  • Panel Discussion Double Helixes and the Circular Economy: Gene Editing, Sustainability, and the Environment CRISPR has a variety of potential environmental applications and implications related to agricultural production, ecosystem services, climate and energy, invasive species, and more. However, ethical questions, biosecurity concerns, and other uncertainties remain regarding gene editing and the environment. Will gene editing technologies help or hurt the environment? What are the potential risks and benefits of gene editing and its potential contributions to sustainability goals for land, water, wildlife, energy, and climate?

    Alejandro Argumedo
    Asociación Andes

    Alejandro Argumedo

    Asociación Andes

    Alejandro Argumedo is program director of Asociación ANDES, a Cusco, Peru-based indigenous peoples’ organization that focuses its work on independent action-research and analysis and fostering new forms of networking and alliance building. Alejandro has founded various international indigenous knowledge platforms cooperating within shared goals of protecting and nurturing biodiversity and promoting indigenous agroecology solutions. Alejandro is an agronomist by training and is the current international coordinator of the International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples, a Food Forever Initiative Champion. He has also served on expert panels of the UN and other relevant bodies and has been a consultant for various national and international organizations.

    Robert Deerenberg
    Blue Genomics Chile and AquaGen Chile

    Robert Deerenberg

    Blue Genomics Chile and AquaGen Chile

    Robert Deerenberg studied zootechnology (today’s animal sciences) at Wageningen University and specialized in aquaculture and animal genetics. In 2001 his thesis was chosen as the best thesis of the year in animal sciences in the Netherlands by the Dutch Association of Zootechnology (NZV). In 2004 Robert started as head of the reproduction and genetics department of Invermar, a Chilean salmon farming company. In 2007 he became head of the genetics department of Marine Harvest Chile, and a year later egg production was added to his responsibilities. He then directed the new reproduction and genetics department of Marine Harvest Chile for 10 years. In 2018 he assumed new responsibilities as general manager of Blue Genomics Chile, a consortium owned by AquaGen dedicated to the development of genetic and genomic tools for the genetic improvement of salmonids. In 2019 he was also appointed head of the genetics department of AquaGen Chile.

    Coenraad Krijger
    IUCN NL

    Coenraad Krijger

    IUCN NL

    Coenraad Krijger is director of IUCN NL, the Dutch branch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network with over 1,300 member organisations, uniquely composed of both government, civil society organisations, and business. With over 10,000 international experts in six global Commissions, IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Coenraad has extensive experience operating at the interface of science and society, especially regarding biodiversity and sustainable development. He is a training ecologist with degrees from Wageningen University (MSc) and Leiden University (PhD) and fieldwork experience in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Before joining IUCN, he worked in science and innovation policy for over 15 years at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the last three years as director of policy development.

    Aditi Mankad
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

    Aditi Mankad

    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

    Aditi Mankad is a senior research scientist and team leader with the Adaptive Urban & Social Systems Program within CSIRO Land & Water. She leads a team of scientists focused on agricultural innovation & biosecurity, based in Brisbane. Aditi also leads the ‘Maximising Impact’ application domain within the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, which houses that platform’s social and behavioural science capability. Aditi is trained in psychological science and has core expertise in psychological and behavioural issues around motivation, risk perception, and behaviour change. Her current research portfolio comprises public stakeholder attitudes towards synthetic biology technologies, public risk perception of biosecurity threats, and adoption of novel technologies and management practices.

    Moderator

    Jop de Vrieze
    Independent Investigative Science Journalist

    Jop de Vrieze

    Independent Investigative Science Journalist

    Jop de Vrieze started working as a science journalist after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and master’s in science communication in 2008. He has become a leading science journalist in his country and publishes on a regular basis in international media. He combines investigative in-depth reporting with a narrative style and focuses on the interface between science and society. He has published two popular scientific books. In 2015, he was named the Dutch science writer of the year, and in 2016, together with his wife Zvezdana Vukojevic, he was awarded an AAAS Kavli Science Journalism gold award.

  • Lunch and CRISPRcon To Go Small group lunchtime conversation on how to apply the event’s conversations and learnings.

  • Lea Witkowsky
    Innovative Genomics Institute

    Lea Witkowsky

    Innovative Genomics Institute

    Lea has a B.A. in chemistry from Willamette University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley working in Robert Tjian’s lab. Her doctoral work focused on mechanisms of human transcription and the influence of chromatin on CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Lea joined the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) in 2017 as a science policy analyst, looking at the regulatory landscape as it relates to new genetic engineering technologies and the role of public perception in biotechnology development and adoption.

  • Hidde Politiek
    Wageningen University & Research

    Hidde Politiek

    Wageningen University & Research

    Hidde Politiek is a student in economics and governance at Wageningen University focusing on agricultural economics. During his studies his interest has been sparked in the economic and policy implications of gene editing technologies. In his research he has studied the 2018 ruling by the European Union Court of Justice that subjected CRISPR-Cas to the existing GMO regulation and focused on the impact of the ruling on the competitiveness of the Dutch plant breeding sector and its investments in CRISPR-Cas.

  • Panel Discussion Gene Editing on the Global Stage: Considerations for Governance and Leadership The future of gene editing is guided both by formal governance structures and by the actions and interactions of institutions working across public and private sectors. Whether making decisions on investments in gene editing research, informing international guidelines, or setting policy and regulation, global leaders must consider a variety of legal, cultural, ethical, and economic factors. This panel will explore how such leaders think about their roles working at an international scale across countries and communities.

    Melinda Belisle
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Melinda Belisle

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Melinda Belisle is a Gates Fellow in the Global Growth and Opportunity Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she focuses primarily on bio-innovation policy and advocacy. Prior to joining the foundation, Melinda worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) as a science advisor specializing on trade and market access for innovative agricultural products. At FAS she provided scientific expertise during multilateral trade negotiations and managed several capacity building projects focused on the development of international science-based regulatory regimes. She represented the U.S. government in international fora such as the UN FAO and OECD as well as in negotiations under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Melinda first entered the USDA as an American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (AAAS) Fellow at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service where she conducted ecological risk assessments of genetically engineered and genome edited plants. Melinda holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Stanford University.

    Guobin Cheng
    Southeast University

    Guobin Cheng

    Southeast University

    Guobin Cheng graduated from the Southeast University School of Medicine with a Bachelor of Medicine in 1999 and then served in a hospital for two years as a surgical resident. Then he studied in the department of philosophy and science for his master’s and doctorate degrees, earning his Ph.D. in ethics in 2008 with a focus on human gene intervention. Guobin teaches medical ethics, bioethics, and social history of medicine for undergraduate and graduate students. He also serves as vice chair of Jiangsu Association of Medical Ethics, chair of Jiangsu Youth Association of Medical Humanities, adjunct associate professor of the Michigan State University Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, and editorial consultant of International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine. His main research fields are the ethical practice of modern life science technology and medicine and its Chinese problems as well as Chinese traditional medical ethics and its modern dilemmas. Guobin has undertaken and participated in several projects supported by China’s National Social Science Fund and the Ministry of Education and has published a monograph on genetic ethics and more than 20 papers on medical humanities. After the “gene edited babies” event in 2018, Guobin published three news comments in the media as an expert and submitted a proposal on the ethical review of gene editing technology to the relevant agencies of Chinese government.

    Robert van Gorcom
    Wageningen Food Safety Research

    Robert van Gorcom

    Wageningen Food Safety Research

    Robert van Gorcom graduated in molecular sciences at Wageningen University (1981) and got a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at the University of Amsterdam (1997) on the analysis of gene expression in filamentous fungi. He worked for 20 years at the Dutch Organization of Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as project leader and department manager on microbial and plant biotechnology. In 2000 he became managing director of the glasshouse horticulture research stations of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), and in 2002 he joined WUR’s food safety research institute RIKILT as BU manager. He became general director of RIKILT in 2010. Robert is a member of the board of directors of Wageningen University & Research, and he is and has been member of several management boards of professional organizations in his domain. As of June 1, 2019, he will be managing director of Wageningen Food Safety Research, a merger of RIKILT and the food and feed safety laboratories of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

    Shawna Lemke
    Bayer

    Shawna Lemke

    Bayer

    Shawna Lemke leads a global team within the CROP SCIENCE division at Bayer working to advance relationships and partnerships with companies, food and health professionals, NGOs, and other stakeholders across the food system on topics related to innovation in agriculture, safety, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. A key part of that work is her leadership of the Food Chain Partnership program, which connects partners along the food value chain to advance safety, quality, affordability, transparency, and sustainability — all the way from seed to shelf. Shawna has 18 years of experience in product safety and nutrition in the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries. In previous roles, she managed pre-clinical and clinical phases of drug development and conducted nutritional and food safety evaluation of agricultural products. She led the Toxicology and Nutrition Center at Monsanto, with oversight of human safety evaluation for crop protection chemicals and crops developed through biotechnology (GMO). Shawna holds a Ph.D. in toxicology from Texas A&M University and completed post-doctoral training in human nutrition at the University of California-Davis. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and received a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in environmental sciences.

    Delphine Thizy
    Target Malaria

    Delphine Thizy

    Target Malaria

    Delphine Thizy is the Stakeholder Engagement Manager of Target Malaria, a non-for-profit consortium of researchers developing an innovating vector control approach to save millions of lives from malaria. She has over 10 years’ experience in the field of stakeholder engagement in lower-income countries, with a particular attention on conflict drivers. After receiving her Master’s Degree in development studies and project management from the University Pierre Mendes France (Grenoble, France), she worked in advocacy for Palestinian farmers’ rights before holding several positions within PlaNet Finance in the Middle East and South Asia. There she was responsible for technical assistance to microfinance institutions in post-conflict countries as well as leading a team for capacity strengthening of various civil society groups. Afterwards she joined a consultancy company, Channel Research, specialising on social impact of projects. In that role she conducted a number of projects evaluations in the field of humanitarian aid and development for a variety of donors and organisations – including the European Commission, members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and private foundations. After creating her own consultancy company, she specialized in social performance and stakeholder engagement for infrastructure and extractive industries. She led several teams for large social impact assessments across Africa. Since 2014 she became the Stakeholder Engagement Manager of Target Malaria and works with teams in Mali, Uganda and Burkina Faso, as well as at the global level to engage stakeholders to co-develop and share an innovative long-term, sustainable and cost-effective vector control technology.

    Moderator

    Desiree Hoving
    Independent Science Journalist

    Desiree Hoving

    Independent Science Journalist

    Desiree is an independent science journalist with ten years of experience. She is a generalist who is able to get familiar with complex topics and prefers to connect various scientific disciplines. Half of her time Desiree writes for newspapers and magazines; the other half she programs and moderates events about current scientific affairs.

  • Adjourn

  • After a CRISPRcon-hosted reception concludes the event's first day of programming on Thursday, June 20, there will be three independently organized side events open to all CRISPRcon attendees:

  • CRISPR for Us: A Chat with Young Professionals Hosted by Gene Sprout Initiative and Give CRISPR a Chance
    This panel of young researchers will reflect on the first day of discussions and on what it means to be a young scientist working on CRISPR-related research.

    Time: 18:30 to 19:30 (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
    Location: The Spot, Orion, Building 103, Bronland 1, 6708 WH Wageningen (map)

  • Farmer Roundtable Hosted by American Farm Bureau Federation, United Soybean Board, National Corn Growers Association, and National Pork Board
    Hear farmers from around the world discuss the first day's sessions and their perspectives on gene editing.

    Time: 18:30 to 19:30 (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
    Location: Ground floor, Orion, Building 103, Bronland 1, 6708 WH Wageningen (map)

  • CRISPRcon Late Night After hours reception
    Continue the conversations in an informal setting at a restaurant in the center of Wageningen. Show your CRISPRcon name tag to receive a free drink.

    Time: 19:00 to 22:00 (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
    Location: Hotel de Wereld (Grote Capitulatiezaal, Kleine Capitulatiezaal, and Brasserie Le Monde), 5 Mei Plein, 6703 CD Wageningen (map)

PLANNING COMMITTEE

CRISPRcon 2019 was hosted by:

The event program was developed by the Keystone Policy Center in partnership with Wageningen University and Research. Special thanks to Dirk Bosch, Katarina Cankar, Ernst van den Ende and Susanne Laven.

CRISPRcon’s multi-stakeholder advisory council guides CRISPRcon’s vision, mission, and implementation.  Click here to view the current advisory council.

SPONSORSHIP

CRISPRcon welcomes sponsorship from organizations, businesses, foundations, universities, NGOs, and others interested in supporting the CRISPRcon mission to create a unique forum of diverse perspectives on gene editing across a variety of applications. Funding supports program development and direct costs associated with the event including speaker support to enable diverse participation. CRISPRcon is a nonprofit event. Irrespective of funding source, Keystone Policy Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is committed to independently managing CRISPRcon’s development in service to its mission. Keystone operates under a statement of independence to serve all of its project participants and does not advocate for any specific or general uses of CRISPR or other gene-editing technologies.

To view sponsors for our past events click here for CRISPRcon 2017 and CRISPRcon 2018. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact: contact@crisprcon.org

PRESS

For press inquiries concerning CRISPRcon, media access, and other questions, please contact:

press@crisprcon.org

CRISPRcon is a program of Keystone Policy Center. Keystone is a nationally recognized nonprofit working to bring diverse perspectives to bear in helping leaders, stakeholders, and communities reach common higher ground on society’s most challenging issues. Keystone manages overall development of CRISPRcon programming, planning, and fundraising. Keystone operates under a statement of independence to serve all of its project participants and does not take a position of advocacy on any specific or general use of CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies.

For more information about CRISPRcon, contact us below:

CONTACT