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Event Details

February 7, 2024
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM


gene editing
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Virtual - Ethics For When Sci-Fi Becomes Reality: Gene Editing As Medicine

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Movies of science fiction like Jurassic Park and GATTACA have explored the idea of gene editing for decades, and it was fiction. However, technology to modify these small, encoded traits we call “genes” is now reality. Science and society question where and how this technology should be applied, one key area being as a therapy to cure otherwise incurable diseases. Gene editing is part of a broader class of new therapeutics called “gene therapy,” the first of which was approved in 2017. Beginning with a total of five FDA-approved gene therapies, this number is on track to double this year, with dozens more in clinical development. Entering this strange new world, an abundance of questions arise—How do we decide what is treated with gene therapy and what is not? Who gets access to it? Should we do this at all?

Join us for an introduction to the technology of gene therapy and gene editing, and a discussion on the ethical questions that arise as this technology enters the clinic.

About our Speaker:

Dr. Zollie Yavarow is a science communicator and patient advocate focused on rare disease and gene therapy. She founded Zaris Consulting, an organization providing gene therapy consulting and science educational content with a patient focus. She earned her PhD in Pharmacology and MA in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke University in 2022. She is a published scientist and talented science communicator, winning numerous awards for her presentation skills. After ten years of research at the laboratory bench, Dr. Yavarow shifted to the real-world applications of therapeutics she studied, focusing on the patient perspective. Beyond these interests, she loves experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen and spending time by the water. She is thrilled to be back in  Massachusetts where she grew up after completing her graduate studies in North Carolina.

This event is hosted by the Cary Memorial Library (Lexington) and is in collaboration between the several Massachusetts libraries. This is a Hybrid program so, if you live close to Lexington, please feel free to join them in person. 

Please register for this event and you'll receive the link in the confirmation and reminder emails - make sure to check your spam folder for them. The email will be coming from Zoom. 

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Public Library.

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