Webinar: Considerations for Commercial Applications of Gene Drives

Monday, November 2,  12:00-1:00pm

This webinar focused on the potential for commercial applications of gene drives and how a business model might develop and evolve. The webinar is an information-gathering meeting for the committee in which the speakers are invited to provide input to the committee.


Luke Alphey, The Pirbright Institute
Dr. Alphey’s major research focus is on the use of modern genetic methods to improve the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in agricultural pest species. Another area of interest in genetic control is the “refractory insect” strategy, which is based on (i) the production in the laboratory of a strain of insects refractory to transmission of a disease agent (e.g. malaria or dengue fever) and (ii) the introgression of this refractory gene into the wild population, so that the disease-transmitting insect population is rendered harmless. Dr. Alphey is a founder of Oxitec, a biotech company developing transgenic methods to control insect pests that spread disease or damage crops, and served as Oxitec’s Chief Scientific Officer for more than a decade.