Gene editing: Rewriting your DNA (Public Forum)


Public Forum


June 06, 2017


6pm - 8pm,
Martin Amphitheatre

McIntyre Building, 6th floor
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montreal, QC, Canada
H3G 1Y6

Gene editing: Rewriting your DNA

Thanks to all who attended this forum! Want more SPE content? Check out photos from the event and more SPE videos!

Event details:

Your DNA is a transcript of who you are, from your eye colour to your risk of developing cancer – what if we could change the script? DNA editing has been used for years in research labs to answer important questions about disease, but now with the advent of technologies like the CrispR/Cas9 system the possibilities seem endless. This raises some questions:

Do we understand enough about DNA to change it without creating undesirable side effects? Can we treat healthy people to fix genetic predispositions that lead to Huntington’s disease and cancer later in life? Should we start worrying about “designer babies”? Where do we draw the line?

This public forum intends to answer these questions and many more. Join us for a two-hour session on Tuesday June 6th to learn more about gene editing and what kinds of challenges Canadian scientists, lawyers, and policymakers foresee in these uncertain times.

To register for this public forum, click here. Registration is free, but seating is limited - so register quickly!

Psst...did you know this public forum is the second of a two-part series? To get more information or watch videos from our first forum on personal genetic testing , click here!

When: 6-8pm on Tuesday June 6th, 2017

Location: Martin Amphitheatre (6th floor), McIntyre Building, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, QC, Canada


(10 min) Natalie Brender, former national director of Genomics in Society at Genome Canada, welcomes everyone to the session and briefly introduces the topic and why it’s an important discussion to have, introduces the speakers;

(25 min) Alan Peterson, professor in Experimental Medicine at McGill, gives brief background on what gene editing is, then discusses how these technologies are used in research and how they are being/will be translated to the clinic;

(25 min) Erika Kleiderman, associate at McGill’s Centre of Genomics and Policy, discusses policy and ethical considerations of gene editing technologies in health care.

(15 min) Break for coffee where we will collect cue cards with your questions for our panelists

(45 min) We will pose your questions to the panel for discussion

Please see the "Speakers" tab above for more information about our speakers.

Natalie Brender:

Natalie Brender holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University and is a public policy consultant and writer based in Ottawa. Previously, she was National Director for Genomics in Society at Genome Canada.

Alan Peterson:

Associate Professor Alan Peterson of the Faculty of Medicine, is a distinguished researcher in genetics who is using CRISPR-Cas9 to investigate nervous system development and disease. He previously appeared in 2016 on the radioshow CBC Ideas with Paul Kennedy on an expert panel titled "Designing Life: The Brave New World of Gene Editing".

Erika Kleiderman:

Erika Kleiderman is a lawyer and an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP). She holds a civil law degree (LL.B.) from the Université de Montréal, as well as a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University.


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