Genome editing workshop

First Genome Editing Workshop in Russia

On September 22 2016 in Saint Petersburg as part of the X International Raisa Gorbacheva Memorial Meeting on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Gene and Cell Therapy, we held the first Russian Workshop on Genome Editing, where we discussed the potential practice of this technology in humans.

We are especially proud of our high profile, world famous speakers who made a discussion of this innovative technology possible in Russian.

Our first speaker was Professor Boris Fehse – a Chief of the Cell and Gene Therapy Department of the Stem Cell Transplant Clinic in UMC, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.  Prof. Feshe told us how the manipulations with the genome are used in a variety of research in oncology and hematology. Boris Fehse discussed how genome editing is involved in the creation of the future methods of therapies and what kind changes have happened recently in the field of gene therapy. Prof. Fehse also discussed recent advances in genome editing tools and assessment methods.

Our second speaker – Fyodor Urnov is Adjunct Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley and Associate Director at Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Seattle, USA. Prof. Urnov is the co-author of the genome editing methods; he discussed the history of engineering nucleases invention for the genome editing and clinical application of the genome editing in different research approaches where these methods are applied to humans. Prof. Urnov then led the practical part of the workshop participants had an opportunity to edit the gene by themselves and received a number of useful sources for the future self-education.

The third speaker was Dr. Mikhail Samsonov, PhD – a Chief Medical Officer at R-Farm, a specialist in development, registration and commercialization of the new pharmaceutical products. Dr. Samsonov discussed the evolving regulatory aspects of the development and registration of the genome editing methods for potential use in humans in the US, EU and Russian Federation.

The forth speaker – Dr. Kristina Khodova, PhD is a Director of Cancer Center of Excellence at Skolkovo Foundation’s biomedical cluster and is an expert in the field of innovative biomedical technologies. Dr. Khodova discussed recent changes on the market of so-called “genetic surgery” high lined the ongoing situation in the investment field and introduced a term “patent battles” to our audience. Dr. Khodova then presented capabilities of the Skolkovo Foundation and other Russian and international organizations that help R&D projects that use an innovative technology of genome editing.

The workshop was welcomed with the tremendous interest from professionals of a broad variety of specialties: biologists, biotechnologists, clinical laboratory physicians, hematologists, oncologists and genetics. The number of our guests at the workshop exceeded all our expectations: instead of 40 anticipated participants we had over 80 professionals present at the event.

“Genome editing is an innovation technology that can cure an incredible amount of socially significant diseases. Using this technology along with the stem cell transplant has a tremendous future. I would like to express my gratitude to our speakers. Workshop on the genome editing had an enormous success and was a jewel of our symposium” 

Prof. Boris Afanasyev, Director of Raisa Gorbacheva Memorial Institute of Children’s Oncology, Hematology and Transplantation, First I. Pavlov State Medical University of St. Petersburg