Middleton Public Library
Address: 7425 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562
Phone: 608-831-5564     Email: info@midlibrary.org

Professor Alta Charo on Human Genome Editing

Thursday, April 18, at 7:00pm    Add this event to your calendar
Location: In the downstairs Archer Room (through the lobby stairwell)
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The second lecture in our ongoing Scholar'd for Life series in partnership with the UW-Madison Speakers Bureau!

Alta Charo, Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at UW-Madison's Law School, will present a lecture entitled “Human Genome Editing: Policy and Politics”

Genome editing makes genetic engineering cheaper, easier, and more precise. It can be used to delete, alter or add a genetic trait and is just now entering clinical trials for treatment of a few human diseases. Its powerful potential for preventing and treating disease has, however, also raised questions about its potential uses for enhancing otherwise already healthy human traits, or even more dramatically, making changes in eggs, sperm and embryos that would affect not only our children but our descendants. This talk will briefly describe the technology, its current and near-term uses for human health, and the surrounding policy and politics— much of it connecting to the political debates surrounding abortion, disability rights, and even genetically engineered foods.

R. Alta Charo is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In the past, she also has served on the faculty of the UW Masters in Biotechnology Studies program and the Dept. of Medical History and Bioethics at the School of Medicine & Public Health.

From 2015 - 2017 she was a member of the National Academies' Human Gene Editing Initiative and co-chaired its committee charged with making recommendations on the use of gene-editing for both somatic and germline (heritable) changes in humans.

Charo (B.A. biology, Harvard 1979; J.D. Columbia, 1982) is an elected member (2004) of the World Technology Network and (2005) the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. And in 2006 she was elected to membership in the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now known as the National Academy of Medicine). In 2013 she was awarded the Adam Yarmolinsky Medal for her service to the IOM.

She served on President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and as a transition team member and then senior policy analyst at the FDA under the Obama administration, where she was a member of the Health and Human Services review team, focusing her attention particularly on transition issues related to NIH, FDA, bioethics, stem cell policy, and women's reproductive health.

Scholar'd for Life is a lecture series presented by the Middleton Public Library in partnership with the UW Madison Speakers Bureau. Taking the "Wisconsin Idea" as its starting point, this series aims to promote lifelong learning, intellectual curiosity, and engagement between academics and the community as a whole. More information, including recordings of past lectures, at www.midlibrary.org/sfl.