Prof Susan Golombok appointed to International Commission on genome editing

Picture of Susan Golombok

Newnham’s Prof Susan Golombok has been appointed to the new International Commission on Human Germline Genome Editing.

Following the report that the first genetically edited babies were born in 2018, this international commission will develop principles, criteria and standards for the clinical use of genome editing of the human germline, should it be deemed ethical.

Prof Golombok is Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research, and Fellow of Newnham. Her research focuses on new family forms, including families created by assisted reproduction techniques, focusing on parent-child relationships and children’s psychological development.

The international commission is being convened by the U.K.’s Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. It includes representatives from ten countries. Together, they will identify the scientific issues that must be evaluated before human genome editing takes place, and assess possible mechanisms for long-term monitoring of children born with edited genomes.

Prof Golombok’s research will contribute crucial insights into potential implications for the families who may come about as a result of genome editing, and issues associated with the follow up of the children.

Susan Golombok tells us, “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed to this Commission alongside eminent scientists from around the world, and appreciate that a social science perspective is being included in the discussion.”

More information is available on the Royal Society website.