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Pathways Towards the Safe and Effective Deployment of Engineered Microbial Technologies

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Genetically engineered microbes have the potential to transform almost every aspect of human society, from sustainability to manufacturing to human health. However, many of these applications would involve the deployment of engineered microbes into the external environment – a proposition that carries many potential risks alongside its many benefits. There has been a long history of efforts by regulators and scientists to strike the right balance to enable the development of useful biotechnologies while mitigating potential risks, but many of these efforts have focused on macroscopic organisms like plants. The unique biological properties of microbes, such as their small size and ability to engage in horizontal gene transfer, present distinct challenges that will require a different set of scientific and regulatory priorities.

The goal of this two-day workshop is to bring together leading representatives from regulatory agencies, industrial biotechnology, and academic science to identify the current status of the technological and regulatory landscape around engineered microbial technologies, and to assess how these two landscapes can best interface with each other to promote the safe and effective development and deployment of future microbial biotechnologies. These conversations will culminate in a set of policy suggestions for regulatory agencies and scientific suggestions for researchers and funding agencies that emphasize open questions that must be addressed in order to better inform the formation of effective regulatory guidelines.

Locations: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Morning session — Beckman Institute Auditorium (open to the Caltech community)
Afternoon session — The Athenaeum, Hall of Associates, East Patio (closed session)

Locations: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Morning and Afternoon session — Jorgensen rooms and lobby (closed sessions)

Click here to register

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at [email protected].