Public Impact

The Public Impact team aligns IGI’s genome-engineering innovations with societal values.

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.

Key Goals

Equitable Access: Facilitate affordable, accessible genomic therapies, agricultural products, and tools
Ethical Use & Policy: Advance understanding of ethical use and guide responsible governance of genomic innovations
Engagement: Cultivate discourse among stakeholder communities and provide free educational resources

Sickle Cell Initiative

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.

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Climate and Sustainable Agriculture

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.

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Public Education

The IGI is committed to advancing public understanding of genome engineering by providing accessible educational resources for the broader community.

We develop high-quality digital content and offer interactive events and programming. The IGI specializes in informing audiences about CRISPR, genome editing, and the ethical implications of genetic engineering. We reach thousands of people each month through the IGI website, free educational apps, an undergraduate CRISPR course, in-person and virtual talks, field trips, and many other offerings.

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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.

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