Webinar: Key Principles and Considerations for Risk Assessment of Gene Drive Research and Applications

November 5, 2015

This webinar reviewed approaches to and key principles of environmental and human health risk assessment and considerations for gene drive research and applications.

The webinar was an information-gathering meeting for the committee in which the speakers were invited to provide input to the committee.


Katherine von Stackelberg, ScD, Harvard University bio

Dr. Katherine von Stackleberg is Principal and Owner of NEK Associates LTD, is a Consulting Scientist at E RiskSciences, and a Research Scientist at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Dr. von Stackelberg has spent many years developing risk-based tools to support environmental decision making. That has led to an interest in tools and methods to support sustainable approaches to making environmental decisions, particularly in terms of economic benefits related to ecosystem services. A key interest is the development of methods for quantifying changes in ecosystem services and relating those to changes in benefits using stated preference methods. Dr. von Stackelberg’s work also focuses on methods that integrate economics and risk assessment to better quantify the benefits of proposed risk reductions as a result of management or regulatory actions for use in cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and value of information analyses. Much of her work has
focused on incorporating quantitative uncertainty analysis (e.g., analytical, probabilistic, and fuzzy methods) into the risk assessment process, and she has been at the forefront of the effort to promote uncertainty analysis and methods for communicating uncertainty to support environmental decision-making. Dr. von Stackelberg received an A.B. cum laude from Harvard College, and a Sc.M. and Sc.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health in Environmental Science and Risk Management.

Bruce K. Hope, PhD,  retired  bio

From 2011 until his retirement in 2014, Dr. Bruce Hope was a principal environmental toxicologist with the international consulting firm CH2M HILL, where he worked on projects involving environmental toxicology, ecological and human health risk assessment, chemical bioaccumulation modeling, development of air and water quality guidelines, and regulatory-science policy strategies. From 1995 to 2011, he was a senior environmental toxicologist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), where he was instrumental in identifying persistent pollutants in Oregon’s municipal effluents, developing ambient benchmark concentrations for air toxics, completing the Umatilla chemical weapons incinerator post-trail burn risk assessments, and reviewing human health and ecological risk assessments. Prior to joining DEQ in 1995, he was a consultant in the private sector managing human health and ecological risk assessment projects for
commercial and government clients throughout the U.S. and the Pacific Rim. In 2000-01, he was an American Association for the Advancement of science (AAAS) risk policy fellow in Washington DC, working on food safety, microbial risk assessment, and bioterrorism issues. He has served on the North American Board of Directors for the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and was previously on the editorial boards of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and Risk Analysis. He has also served on several U.S. EPA national advisory and review panels addressing cumulative risk, wildlife, ecological, probabilistic, and environmental modeling issues, as well as on two National Research Council committees: one evaluating human health risk assessment practices and the other examining ecological risk assessment in the context of FIFRA and the ESA. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biology from the University of Southern California and a B.A. degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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