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

Flagship Projects

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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group of researchers

Public Policy

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.

Three people having a discussion around a table
Researchers in a lab

AfPBA CRISPR Course In Gene Editing for African Plant Scientists

Each year, the AfPBA CRISPR Course in Gene Editing trains a class of 10 to 20 doctorate-level plant scientists from across the African continent to use CRISPR. The goal of this unique program is to empower these scientists with tools to rapidly develop crop varieties that meet the needs of their local communities.


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