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Objective

Developing and applying sound science to the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of biotechnologies is crucial for safely realizing their contributions to human health and sustainable production of food, fuel, and fiber. Whether it be through improving systematic approaches to inform understanding of plausible risks associated with the use of gene drive strategies or working to maximize the value of data, the ILSI Research Foundation continues its longstanding commitment to serve as a scientific resource for governments, academic institutions, and private sector organizations.

Collaborators & Partners

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Government of Australia

Current Actvity

The ILSI Research Foundation's active programs related to environmental risk assessment (ERA) include:

Data Transportability for Field Trial Research

Confined field trials (CFTs) are conducted to inform environmental risk assessments that are required by regulatory authorities before genetically engineered crops can be approved and released for cultivation. Many countries expect CFTs to be conducted as a matter of course, even if satisfactory data are already
available from trials conducted elsewhere. The primary variable that differentiates CFT locations is agroclimate, which means that data from trials cultivated in like agroclimates should be considered relevant and sufficient to satisfy regulatory requirements, irrespective of the country where the CFTs are conducted.

ERA for the Use of Gene Drive

According to the World Health Organization’s 2017 World Malaria Report, an estimated 216 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2016, with 90% of this total concentrated in the African region. Alarmingly, and despite an increased public health focus on the elimination of malaria, it is becoming clear that many countries will not be able to achieve this goal without considering novel management approaches. One control strategy in the early stages of development is the use of gene drive mechanisms to suppress or replace vector mosquito populations.

Past Work

The ILSI Research Foundation's concluded projects in the area of environmental risk assessment include:

Resources

Newsletters

Find out about the work we are doing by reading our monthly newsletter.

eLearning

The ILSI Research Foundation has developed eLearning courses that focus on environmental risk assessment.

Gene Drive Modeling Conference

Washington, D.C., USA

With support from the USDA NIFA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program, the ILSI Research Foundation is organizing this conference to bring together regulators, risk assessors, modelers, and biologists who understand gene drive technology to discuss the applicability of mathematical models for the environmental risk assessment of gene drive organisms.

Read more

OECD Working Group on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds

Paris, France

The OECD Task Force on the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds, for which the ILSI Research Foundation is a recognized observer organization, works on technical issues related to the food safety of novel foods and feeds, including the products of agricultural biotechnology.

Read more

Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species

Tarragona, Spain

Sponsored by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, this workshop highlighted different approaches to the control of invasive species that make use of transgenic organisms engineered for introduction into a target population in order to reduce or eliminate it.

Read more

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							Overview		
							Registration		
				Overview
							

Gene drive technology refers to any of a set of similar mechanisms that can be engineered to drive inheritance of an allele through a population through higher transmission from parents to offspring than predicted by Mendelian inheritance. The potential applications of this technology in agriculture are many and include uses for pest, disease, and weed control. Because field-testing of gene drives in the environment is problematic, mathematical modeling of gene drives will be important in understanding their potential environmental impacts. The ILSI Research Foundation organized the Gene Drive Modeling Conference to bring together regulators, risk assessors, modelers, and biologists who understand gene drive technology to discuss the applicability of models for the environmental risk assessment of gene drive organisms, as well as to identify criteria for establishing the quality of information that will be needed to inform future risk assessments of gene drives.

The conference is made possible through a grant from the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program, which provides funding to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment. Therefore, registration is only open to employees of Federal regulatory agencies.

Registration

Please fill out the form below to register for the ILSI Research Foundation's Gene Drive Modeling Conference. The conference is made possible through a grant from the USDA NIFA BRAG Program, so registration is only open to employees of Federal regulatory agencies. Space is limited and will be allotted on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Check the box below to receive a monthly email newsletter containing the latest information about our activities, as well as occasional news releases regarding upcoming events and important announcements.
  • We will be sending event information and updates via email. By registering below, you are consenting to receiving these electronic communications. Please add rf@ilsi.org to your email provider's safe senders list.

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Gene Drive Modeling Conference Seminar Series

AlunLloyd_s

Dr. Alun Lloyd

Department of Mathematics
North Carolina State University

Mathematical models are a widely-used tool to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of gene drives and other related biocontrol approaches. As part of the ILSI Research Foundation's Gene Drive Modeling Conference Seminar Series, this presentation by Dr. Alun Lloyd will cover modeling work that has been carried out for several novel strategies, illustrating the use of a number of different models as the projects move along the path from theoretical proposals, through lab-based studies, to field deployment. Of particular note is the role of both simple and more complicated mathematical models at various stages of this process. Dr. Lloyd will also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches, together with methods that can be used to quantify uncertainty in model predictions that result from uncertainty in model parameters.

The online seminar is by invitation only.

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Invasive species can pose a threat to the environment, agriculture, or human health. Most governmental approaches to control the spread of invasive species are focused on preventing new introductions. However, efforts to address the control of invasive species once they have become established have met with limited success. Genetic biocontrol of invasive species may offer a new opportunity to go beyond prevention and begin to reduce or eliminate invasive species through genetic strategies. This workshop highlighted different approaches to the control of invasive species that make use of transgenic and nontransgenic organisms designed for introduction into a target population in order to reduce or eliminate it. The presentations given on these various approaches compared them with respect to efficacy, biosafety, practicality, cost, and time frame for implementation.

This workshop was sponsored by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme: Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, whose financial support made it possible for some of the invited speakers to participate in the workshop. 

 

Agenda

There will be a five minute period included at the end of each 30 minute presentation that will be used for questions and answers.

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Gene drive technology refers to any of a set of similar mechanisms that can be engineered to drive inheritance of an allele through a population through higher transmission from parents to offspring than predicted by Mendelian inheritance. The potential applications of this technology in agriculture are many and include uses for pest, disease, and weed control. Because field-testing of gene drives in the environment is problematic, mathematical modeling of gene drives will be important in understanding their potential environmental impacts. The ILSI Research Foundation organized the Gene Drive Modeling Conference to bring together regulators, risk assessors, modelers, and biologists who understand gene drive technology to discuss the applicability of models for the environmental risk assessment of gene drive organisms, as well as to identify criteria for establishing the quality of information that will be needed to inform future risk assessments of gene drives.

The conference is made possible through a grant from the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program, which provides funding to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment. Therefore, registration is only open to employees of Federal regulatory agencies.

Registration

Please fill out the form below to register for the ILSI Research Foundation's Gene Drive Modeling Conference. The conference is made possible through a grant from the USDA NIFA BRAG Program, so registration is only open to employees of Federal regulatory agencies. Space is limited and will be allotted on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Check the box below to receive a monthly email newsletter containing the latest information about our activities, as well as occasional news releases regarding upcoming events and important announcements.
  • We will be sending event information and updates via email. By registering below, you are consenting to receiving these electronic communications. Please add rf@ilsi.org to your email provider's safe senders list.

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OECD Consensus Document of the Biology of Mosquito Aedes aegypti

Volume 8 of the series Safety Assessment of Transgenic Organisms in the Environment contains the first OECD biosafety consensus document to deal with the biology of an insect, the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Read more

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