The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Second International Summit Organizing Committee > Organizing Committee Bios

The Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing

Co-Hosted by
The Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong
The Royal Society
U.S. National Academy of Sciences
U.S. National Academy of Medicine

Organizing Committee Bios

David Baltimore (NAS/NAM), Ph.D., former president, California Institute of Technology (1997-2006), is President Emeritus and the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology and one of the world's most influential biologists. He has contributed widely to the understanding of cancer, AIDS and the molecular basis of the human body's immune response and has profoundly influenced national science policy on such issues as the AIDS epidemic and research in genetic engineering. In 1975 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research into viral replication that provided the key to understanding the life cycle of retroviruses. His present research focuses on control of inflammatory and immune responses as well as on the use of gene therapy methods to treat HIV and cancer in a program called “Engineering Immunity.” In addition, he co-directs the Joint Center for Translational Medicine, an activity that joins Caltech and UCLA in a program to translate basic science discoveries into clinical realities.

Dr. Baltimore has played an important role in the development of American biotechnology since his involvement in the 1970s in the formation of Collaborative Genetics. He helped found other companies, most recently Calimmune and Immune Design and presently serves on the Board of Directors at several companies and nonprofits including the Broad Foundation and the Broad Institute, and Regulus Therapeutics. He is a scientific adviser to the Ragon Institute and Amgen. He is a science partner to the venture capital firm The Column Group and served as a director of the Swiss investment company BB Biotech. He is a past chair of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is the 1999 recipient of the National Medal of Science and he has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles.

R. Alta Charo (NAM), J.D., is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin. Professor Charo’s work has focused on reproductive technologies, research ethics, stem cell policy, drug safety, genetic engineering, and genome editing. Her federal government employment has included the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Food & Drug Administration. Professor Charo’s advisory committee service for the federal government includes the 1994 NIH Human Embryo Research Panel, President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission (1996-2001), and President Obama’s HHS transition team (2008-2009).

At the U.S. National Academies, she is a member of the NAM Council, and has been a member of the Board on Life Sciences, the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, and, at present, the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law as well as the Board on Health Sciences Policy. Professor Charo has served on a number of study committees, including the Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent Destructive Applications of Biotechnology, the Committee on Smallpox Vaccination Program Implementation, the Committee on the Future of Drug Safety, and the Committee on Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques. She also was a founding co-chair of the Forum on Regenerative Medicine, and co-chaired the National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and, most recently, its Committee on Gene Editing Ethics and Policy.

George Q. Daley (NAM), M.D., Ph.D., is dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Daley trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as chief resident, and completed a clinical fellowship in hematology/oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children’s Hospital. He was a founding executive committee member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, served as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR, 2007-2008), and anchored the special task forces that produced the ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation (2006, 2008, 2016). As a graduate student with David Baltimore, Daley created the mouse model that proved the BCR/ABL oncogene causes human chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), work that validated BCR/ABL as a target for drug blockade and helped motivate the development of Gleevec®, a revolutionary magic-bullet chemotherapy that induces remissions in virtually every CML patient. Dr. Daley’s laboratory studies blood development from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, with the goal of translating insights in stem cell biology into cellular therapies for degenerative, malignant, and genetic blood diseases.

Dr. Daley has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was an inaugural winner of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and has won the E. Donnall Thomas Prize of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Daley received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in biology from MIT, and his M.D. summa cum laude from Harvard Medical School.

Jennifer Doudna (NAS/NAM), Ph.D., is an internationally renowned professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology, U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Doudna and her colleagues rocked the research world in 2012 by describing a simple way of editing the DNA of any organism using an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria. This technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, has opened the floodgates of possibility for human and non-human applications of gene editing, including assisting researchers in the fight against HIV, sickle cell disease, and muscular dystrophy. Dr. Doudna is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a foreign member of the Royal Society, and has received many other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Heineken Prize, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and the Japan Prize. She is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.

Kazuto Kato, Ph.D., is professor of biomedical ethics and public policy at the Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University. Dr. Kato has a Ph.D. degree in developmental biology from Kyoto University. After finishing postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge with Sir John Gurdon, he started to work on ethical and social issues related to life sciences. Dr. Kato is currently specializing in biomedical ethics, research governance and patient engagement in medical research.

Dr. Kato has served as a member of various international projects and academic societies to include the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organization (currently, Committee on Ethics, Law, and Society); the Ethics and Governance Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium; the Ethics Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research; and the Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. Currently, he is also the leader of the ELSI 2.0 network, which facilitates global collaborations of researchers on ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications). In 2010, he was appointed a member of the Expert Panel on Bioethics of the Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation in Japan’s Cabinet Office. The panel has been working on the ethical and social issues of human genome editing technology since 2015.

Jin-Soo Kim, Ph.D., is an entrepreneur and chemist-turned-biologist. He graduated from Seoul National University in 1987 with a major in chemistry. He then earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Seoul National University in 1989 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. After postdoctoral training at Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he came back to Seoul in 1997 to serve as principal investigator at Samsung Biomedical Research Institute. He co-founded a biotechnology company, ToolGen Inc., focused on zinc finger technology and genome editing in 1999, and served as CEO and CSO for the subsequent six years. He joined the faculty of the department of chemistry at Seoul National University in 2005 and now serves as director of Center for Genome Engineering at Institute for Basic Science. He has published over 150 articles and filed 50 patent applications, mostly in the field of gene regulation and genome editing.

Throughout his independent scientific career since 1997, Jin-Soo Kim has been developing tools for genome editing, a method now used widely in biomedical research, biotechnology, and medicine. The broad interest in this rapidly evolving and expanding technology among researchers is highlighted by the choice of genome editing as Method of the Year 2011 by Nature Methods and Breakthrough of the Year 2015 by Science. Genome editing in cultured cells, animals, and plants is catalyzed by programmable nucleases that cleave chromosomal DNA in a targeted manner. His group has developed and improved three different types of programmable nucleases, namely, zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs), and RNA-guided endonucleases derived from CRISPR-Cas9 adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes. The Kim group was one of the first to report on targeted genome modifications in human cells using CRISPR-Cas9 in January 2013. Since then, Dr. Kim has developed methods known as Cas9/Cpf1/Base Editor ribonucleoprotein (RNP) delivery and Digenome-seq for minimizing and assessing, respectively, genome-wide CRISPR off-target effects, and has applied CRISPR technology to human stem cells and embryos, animals, and plants, offering great potential for broad applications in medicine and biotechnology. These tools are now used for genome editing in thousands of labs all around the world.

Robin Lovell-Badge (FRS), Ph.D., is senior group leader at The Francis Crick Institute.

Dr. Lovell-Badge has had long-standing interests in the biology of stem cells, in how genes work in the context of embryo development, and how decisions of cell fate are made. Major themes of his current work include sex determination, development of the nervous system and pituitary, and the biology of stem cells within these systems and in the early embryo. He is also very active in both public engagement and policy work, notably around stem cells, genetics, human embryo and animal research, and in ways science is regulated and disseminated.

He was elected a member of EMBO in 1993, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999, and a fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. He has received the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine (1995), the Amory Prize (Awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences) (1996), the Feldberg Foundation Prize (2008), and the Waddington Medal of the British Society for Developmental Biology (2010). He was made a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours. He is also a special visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong (2009-2021) and the president of the Institute of Animal Technologists.

Dr. Lovell-Badge obtained his B.Sc. in zoology in 1975 and his Ph.D. in embryology in 1978, both at University College London.

Jennifer Merchant, Ph.D., is a professor of Anglo-American legal and political institutions, Université de Paris II (Panthéon-Assas). She is a leading researcher in bioethical issues of comparative public policy with expertise in North American and European policy, and politics and regulation of medical technologies involving human reproduction. She is also an expert in French law and politics on embryo research and assisted reproductive technology. Her academic interests include comparative public policy, reproduction, bioethics, civil society, science and government. Dr. Merchant is a member of the French National University Institute, the Center for the Study of Research of Administrative and Political Sciences, the Ethics Committee of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and the International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) Association as well as FAB Country Representative. She has been co-editor-in-chief of the international Tocqueville Review/Revue Tocqueville since 2001, and has been a member of the Global Ethics Observatory of UNESCO since 2005. She served on the NAS human genome editing working committee from 2015-2017, and in 2016 with her European colleagues launched the ARRIGE (Association for Responsible Research and Innovation in Genome Editing) and serves on its board.

Dr. Merchant received her Ph.D. degree in political sciences from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris.

Indira Nath, M.D., Ph.D., is visiting professor at the Bio-Support Unit of the Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS); and is the former Raja Ramanna Fellow and Emeritus Professor, National Institute of Pathology in New Delhi. She received an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) and M.D. in pathology from AIIMS, and later served on the AIIMS faculty, making pioneering contributions to immunology of infectious diseases with special interest in human leprosy. She mentored many M.Biotech, M.D., and Ph.D. students and contributes to education, medical, and science policies and women scientists' issues at national and international levels. She is the chair for the Health and Wellbeing in Changing Urban Environment, a program of the International Council of Science; member of the InterAcademy Panel for Ethics, and was co-chair for the InterAcademy Panel-InterAcademy Council project on research integrity. She has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Foreign Secretary, Indian National Science Academy (1995-1997); council member (1992-1994 and 1998-2006) and vice president (2001-2003) of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and chairperson, the Women Scientists Programme, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2003).

Dr. Nath has received several awards, notably Padma Shri; Chevalier Ordre National du Merite, France; Silver Banner, Tuscany, Italy; L'Oreal UNESCO Award for Women in Science (Asia Pacific); SS Bhatnagar Award; and the Basanti Devi Amir Chand Award by the Indian Council of Medical Research. She was elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, Delhi; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Medical Sciences (India); Royal College of Pathology; and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). She was conferred an honorary D.Sc. by Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris.

Duanqing Pei, Ph.D., is professor and director General of Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is the founding executive director of the newly established Guangzhou Regenerative Medicine and Health Guangdong Laboratory.

Dr. Pei joined the Medical Faculty at Tsinghua University in Beijing China in 2002 and moved to the newly formed Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health in 2004. Prior to this appointment, he served as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. Dr. Pei studied the transcription regulation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) for his Ph.D. thesis and worked on extracellular matrix remodeling as a postdoctoral fellow and faculty member.

Upon returning to China, he started to work on stem cell pluripotency first and then reprogramming. The Pei lab in Tsinghua began to publish on the structure and function of Oct4, Sox2, FoxD3, Essrb, and Nanog, and their interdependent relationship towards pluripotency. The Pei lab was the first in China to create iPSCs using a non-selective system, and then improved the iPS process systematically. The Pei lab subsequently disseminated the iPS technology in China by providing not only resources, but also training workshops. His lab demonstrated that fate switching between mesenchymal to epithelial cells, EMT-MET, is essential in both reprogramming and differentiation; vitamin C acts through DNA and histone demethylases to remove epigenetic barriers in reprogramming cells during iPSC generation; and a simple open/close mechanism that governs the chromatin accessibility dynamics associated with both Yamanaka and chemical induction of pluripotency (YIP and CIP). Besides basic research, he has strong interest in translational research. His lab has used ZFNs initially, then Talen, and CRISPR to correct mutations in stem cells with hope to cure diseases through the combined approach of gene editing and stem cell technology. Now, his lab continues to explore new ways to understand and manipulate cell fate, utilize this cutting edge technology to cure diseases. Dr. Pei obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.

Matthew Porteus, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics, Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University. Clinically he cares for children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for both malignant and non-malignant diseases. His research has focused on using homologous recombination to modify somatic stem cells as therapy for patients with genetic diseases and infectious diseases. His team hopes to bring ex vivo gene correction of autologous blood stem cells using genome editing to Phase I/II clinical trials for sickle cell disease and severe combined immunodeficiency in 2019. He has participated in multiple forums and discussions with the FDA and others about standards for the safety and ethics of different applications of genome editing. He currently serves on the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee and is on the NHLBI’s sickle cell disease advisory committee. He previously served on the NAS/NAM study committee on “Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance.”

Dr. Porteus received his A.B. from Harvard in “History and Science” where his honors thesis focused on the recombinant DNA controversy in the 1970s. He received his M.D./Ph.D. degrees from Stanford and completed training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He did his post-doctoral research training with Dr. David Baltimore where he began his studies on optimizing gene targeting/genome editing of human somatic cells as a way to treat patients with genetic diseases of the blood and immune system.

John Skehel (FRS), Ph.D., has been a leader in virology research for over 30 years and has provided major insights into the molecular basis of how viruses recognize and infect their host cells. Skehel focuses on the virus that causes influenza, of which there are 3 million to 5 million cases a year worldwide, resulting in up to 500,000 deaths.

Dr. Skehel headed the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza between 1975 and 1993 and was the director of the National Institute for Medical Research from 1987-2006. His pioneering research was recognized in 1996 when he received a knighthood. Dr. Skehel is a fellow of the U.K.'s Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society.

Patrick Tam (FAA FAHMS FRSb FRS), Ph.D., is deputy director and head of the Embryology Research Unit, Children's Medical Research Institute; senior principal research fellow of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia; professor, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney; and Mok Hing-Yiu Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Hong Kong.

Professor Tam's research focuses on the systems-based investigation of the gene regulatory network underpinning the cellular and molecular mechanisms of body patterning during mouse development and the biology of stem cells. He pioneered the application of micromanipulation and embryo culture for analyzing mouse embryos and examining the development of the head and embryonic gut. The embryological analysis undertaken by his team at CMRI has enabled the construction of a series of fate-maps revealing the organization of the basic body plan of the early embryo. The in-depth knowledge of cell differentiation during early embryogenesis laid the foundation for directing the differentiation of stem cells into clinically useful cell types for therapy in regenerative medicine.

Professor Tam is an editor of Development and a member of the editorial board of journals of developmental biology including Developmental Biology, Developmental Cell, Developmental Dynamics, Differentiation and Genesis. He was a guest editor of Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, BioEssays, and Current Opinion of Genetics and Development. He co-edited, with Janet Rossant, the book titled “Mouse Development” published by Academic Press (2002) and, with James Nelson and Janet Rossant, another volume titled “Mammalian Development” published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2013). Professor Tam is a member of the Embryo Research Licensing Committee of the NHMRC of Australia. He serves presently as chair of the scientific advisory committee of Stem Cell Australia and on the scientific advisory board of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, and previously the scientific council of RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology, and scientific advisory board of Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery. In recognition of his professional accomplishment, Professor Tam was awarded the President’s Medal of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cell and Developmental Biology, and elected to the Fellowship of the Institute of Biology, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of London.

Xiaomei Zhai, Ph.D., is executive director of the Centre for Bioethics, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and professor and director of the department of social sciences and the humanities, Peking Union Medical College. She is also a fellow at the Hastings Center, the Center for Bioethics at the Renmin University of China, and the Center for Bioethics at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology. She also serves as the deputy director of Medical Ethics Committee of the National Health Commission of P.R. China; a member of the Expert Committee on Human Organ Donation and Transplantation in China; a member and vice chair of the Ethics Group of Chinese Society of Medical Genetics. She is also a member of the National Consultation Committee of Experts for Immunization Program; a member of the Expert Committee of the Chinese Marrow Donor Program; president of Society for Bioethics at the Chinese Society for Dialectics of Nature, Philosophy of Nature, Science and Technology; deputy chair of Beijing Medical Ethics Committee of Chinese Medical Association; and deputy chair of Beijing Health Law Society. She also serves as a member of editorial board of journals such as Chinese Medical Ethics, British Medical Journal (Chinese version), and Medicine and Philosophy. She has published books including Dying with Dignity, Medical Ethics (vice editor-in-chief), An Introduction to Bioethics (co-editor-in-chief), Public Health Ethics as well as a number of articles and papers on clinical ethics, research ethics and public health ethics. She also served as a member of the Human Genome Organization’s Ethics Committee and as the vice president of the Asian Association of Bioethics. 


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