Epigenome Editing in medicine – preferable to Genome Editing? Scientific foundations, legal and ethical analysis, and international perspectives

April 14, 2021

This event is online

Sponsor(s):

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)

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Epigenome Editing in medicine – preferable to Genome Editing? Scientific foundations, legal and ethical analysis, and international perspectives – Public workshop of the project COMPASS-ELSI: “COMParative ASSessment of genome and epigenome editing in medicine: Ethical, Legal and Social implications”

Date & Time: Wednesday, 14 April, 2021, 1 pm – 6.15 pm (CEST/GMT+2)

Place: Zoom meeting & Marsilius-Kolleg Heidelberg, Germany, Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1, 69120 Heidelberg. The workshop takes place as a hybrid meeting in-person and simultaneously online (as a zoom meeting). The online meeting is open to the public. Prior registration by a short email to karla.alex@med.uni-heidelberg.de and guenes@uni-mannheim.de is kindly requested. You will then receive the flyer with the zoom link.

Description: In contrast to the vigorous debate on ethical and regulatory aspects of genome editing, epigenome editing has rarely been discussed from an ethical or legal perspective. The project COMPASS-ELSI broadens the scope of this discussion. Within an ethical and a legal subproject, novel applications of gene editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas on the germline as well as on the somatic level are evaluated. The leading research question of COMPASS-ELSI is whether epigenome editing needs to be evaluated differently from genome editing. Furthermore, the project’s goal lies in initiating an ethical and legal debate on epigenome editing.  In this workshop, we will present results of our project and discuss them with experts from our international advisory board.

The workshop is organized by the project group at the Section Translational Medical Ethics, National Center for Tumor Diseases at Heidelberg University Hospital (Prof. Dr. Dr. Eva Winkler; Karla Alex), and at the Department of Law at University of Mannheim (Prof. Dr. Ralf Müller-Terpitz, Ass. jur. Ali Güneş).

Program:

I. Introduction and Welcoming

1.00 – 1.10 pm: Eva Winkler, Heidelberg & Ralf Müller-Terpitz, Mannheim

II. Scientific Background (moderated by Dirk Grimm, Heidelberg)

1.10 – 1.30 pm: Genome Editing (Michael Boutros, Heidelberg)

1.30 – 1.50 pm: Epigenome Editing (Albert Jeltsch, Stuttgart)

1.50 – 2.10 pm: Time for questions & discussion

2.10 – 2.30 pm: Break


III. Legal Analysis (moderated by Ralf Müller-Terpitz, Mannheim)

2.30 – 3.00 pm: Regulatory aspects of genome and epigenome editing (Ali Güneş, Mannheim)

3.00 – 3.10 pm: Commentary (Hans-Georg Dederer, Passau)

3.10 – 3.30 pm: Time for questions & discussion

3.30 – 4.00 pm: Break


IV. Ethical Analysis (moderated by Eva Winkler, Heidelberg)

4.00 – 4.30 pm: Ethical aspects of genome and epigenome editing (Karla Alex, Heidelberg)

4.30 – 4.40 pm: Commentary (Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Lübeck)

4.40 – 5.00 pm: Time for questions & discussion

5.00 – 5.15 pm: Break


V. Panel discussion on international aspects (moderated by Eva Winkler, Heidelberg & Ralf Müller-Terpitz, Mannheim)

5.15 – 6.15 pm

International view on the regulation and ethics of genome and epigenome editing

(Rosario Isasi, Miami; Yann Joly, Montréal; Dirk Lanzerath, Bonn; Jörn Walter, Saarbrücken)


Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)

We cordially invite everyone who is interested in discussing the implications of these novel gene technologies in natural sciences, in ethics and in law to join the event!

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April 12, 2021, 8:00pm CET

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