The ability to rapidly transform agriculture and biomedicine gives rise to new societal and environmental considerations. We strive to understand and shape the impact of genome editing on society through research in social sciences and humanities, including ethics, law, and economics. We engage in public dialogue and policy creation through outreach to key stakeholders to ensure that genome-editing technology benefits everyone equitably.
Our research creates new paradigms for equitable and ethical applications of genome-editing technologies, including investigating new models of commercialization.
The Public Impact team works with the American Society for Hematology and US FDA to identify and streamline data requirements for sickle cell disease clinical trials and post-trial monitoring. We have also developed education and outreach materials to explain how genome-editing technology can be employed to treat people living with sickle cell disease.
It is imperative that we use every tool at our disposal to solve the most pressing issue of our time, climate change.
Through our climate program, we deploy genome-editing technology to capture and sequester more greenhouse gases and to develop climate-friendly agricultural solutions for farmers in developing countries. Our focus is on those most vulnerable to a changing climate, and issue areas in agriculture that are underdeveloped by the commercial sector.
The IGI is also part of the Center for Food Integrity’s Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture.
The IGI is committed to advancing science-based public policy to support responsible and ethical applications of genome engineering.
To bring genome engineering developments from the lab to the real world for the public good, the IGI team engages with policymakers and regulators around the world on the health, climate, and agriculture applications of genome editing, as well as the policies that support continued innovation and guide safe and equitable use. We convene stakeholder communities for discussions of applications, ethics, and policy that inform our research direction and priorities.
We apply our expertise in four focus areas: research, education, engagement, and policy. Our program director and staff work alongside IGI’s research scientists to integrate these activities into everything the IGI does.
The Berkeley Ethics and Regulation Group for Innovative Technologies (BERGIT) is an ideas exchange and a meeting ground co-hosted by the Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public and the Innovative Genomics Institute for discussions across disciplines to integrate ethics, regulation, and policy with science. Our goal is to provide space for discussion, facilitate insight, and instigate a proactive cultural shift in responsible innovation. BERGIT is led by an interdisciplinary team with expertise in Ethics, Law, Public Health, and Molecular Biology and has participants from the Bay Area and beyond. The public is welcome to join BERGIT meetings to discuss the ethics of genome editing technologies and more.