Conference: Gene therapy and human germline editing: New opportunities, new challenges

Oslo, June 2nd 2016

Advances in gene therapy and the advent of genome editing technology create new opportunities for biomedical research and treatment, but also present researchers, the health care system and society as a whole with new challenges and ethical dilemmas: How should we organize and fund research and treatment to get the most out of these opportunities in a responsible manner? Is it feasible to think that the public health care system can provide patients with these often very expensive treatments? Is it ethically advisable to allow researchers to genetically modify embryos?

The Nordic Committee on Bioethics, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board and UiO:Life Science invite you to a broad Nordic discussion of these and other questions at the conference Gene therapy and human germline editing: New opportunities, new challenges. By gathering a diverse group of Nordic medical researchers, ethicists, Research Council representatives, economists, medical industry representatives and others, we hope to stimulate new ideas and new solutions on both a national and a Nordic level.


10 AM: Guest lecture by Fredrik Lanner, assistant professor, Karolinska Institutet: «Mapping the first week of human embryo development using single cell RNA-sequencing». In his lecture, Lanner will present the work leading up to the recent publication of an article in Cell on gene expression in early human embryos, and present his plans to use CRISPR technology to edit genes in early human embryos. 

11–12: Lunch 

12–17: Conference: Gene therapy and human germline editing: New opportunities, new challenges 

– 12–14.15: Gene therapy

Introductions by:

– Gunnar Kvalheim, Head of Department of Cellular Therapy at Oslo University Hospital

– Anne Marie Gerdes, Professor of Clinical Genetics at Copenhagen University Hospital and member of the Danish Ethical Council

– Jacob Wang, Special Advisor, Norwegian Research Council 

14.15–14.45: Coffee 

14.45–17: Human germline editing

Introductions by:

– Fredrik Lanner, Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institutet

– Johanna Ahola-Launonen, ethicist, Helsinki Universty

– Nils-Eric Sahlin, Professor and Head of Office at Department of Medical Ethics at Lund University, and Head of the Expert Group for Ethics at the Swedish Research Council