Gain-of-Function Research: The Second SymposiumBoard on Life Sciences
March 10, 2016 - March 11, 2016
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW Washington DC 20418
On March 10-11, 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold a public symposium on potential U.S. government policies for gain-of-function (GOF) research. This will be the Academies' second meeting to provide a mechanism to engage the life sciences community and the broader public and solicit feedback on optimal approaches to ensure effective federal oversight of GOF research as part of a broader U.S. government deliberative process.
All presenter slide decks are now available to be viewed.
Webcast videos from the symposium are now available to be viewed.
A transcript of Day 1 and Day 2 of the symposium are now available to be viewed.
Dr. Michael Selgelid's ethical analysis whitepaper produced to inform the NSABB has recently been published in Science and Engineering Ethics. You can access the whitepaper by clicking here.
The first symposium, held in December 2014, examined the underlying scientific and technical questions surrounding the potential risks and benefits of GOF research involving pathogens with pandemic potential. (See the website for the first symposium for the summary report, the archived webcast videos, and other materials.)
The second symposium will focus on discussion of the draft recommendations of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) regarding GOF research. It will also include discussion of a formal risk-benefit assessment commissioned to inform the NSABB's work and sessions devoted to international developments that provide essential context for U.S. decisions. The public symposium will not include the development of consensus recommendations, but rather will seek individual perspectives and robust discussion that will inform the development of the NSABB's final recommendations. The two-day symposium is free and open to the public and will be internationally webcast. It will include significant time to hear comments from the public and will also be accepting comments and questions from online viewers. The presentations and background materials from the symposium will be archived online. A designated rapporteur will prepare a report within six weeks of the symposium summarizing the salient points made by presenters, discussants, and members of the public. This symposium is being managed by the Board on Life Science, in collaboration with the Board on Health Sciences Policy and the Committee on Science, Technology and Law.
Committee Roster and Bios
Please click here to view all of the public comments received by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the NSABB regarding the Gryphon Scientific RBA and NSABB Working Paper.
Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event
Gain-of-function (GOF) research aims to improve understanding of disease pathways by modifying the ability of an infectious agent to cause disease. The potential benefits of such modifications are to help find targets for vaccines and drugs as well as provide information that can help in surveillance for potentially pandemic strains. But concerns about biosafety and biosecurity risks are also part of current debates over GOF research on th... More >>
The second National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine symposium on gain-of-function research gathered feedback from the life sciences community on draft policies developed by the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB) for federal oversight of this emerging research area as part of a broader U.S. government deliberative process. "Gain-of-function" research refers to studies that enhance the ability of pathogens t... More >>