NAS names biotechnology panel

By Stephen Davies

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WASHINGTON, March 22, 2016 - The National Academy of Sciences has provisionally appointed 13 members to a committee tasked with studying the changing scientific and regulatory landscape of biotechnology.

The appointments are not final until after the NAS considers the committee's “composition and balance” and looks at information submitted by the appointees on their background and “potential sources of bias and conflict of interest.” Comments on the appointments will be accepted until April 6. The first meeting is scheduled for April 18.

The committee is designed to answer the following questions, according to NAS: “What will the likely future products of biotechnology be over the next 5-10 years? What scientific capabilities, tools, and/or expertise may be needed by the regulatory agencies to ensure they make efficient and sound evaluations of the likely future products of biotechnology?”

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The appointments include the following: 

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·       Richard Murray, Chair; Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology

·       Richard M. Amasino, professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison

·       Steven P. Bradbury, professor of environmental toxicology in the Departments of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Entomology, Iowa State; former director of EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (2010-14)

·       Barbara Evans, George Butler Research Professor and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Law at University of Houston Law Center

·       Steven L. Evans, Fellow in Seeds Discovery R&D at Dow AgroSciences

·       Farren Isaacs, Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale

·       Richard Johnson, CEO and founder of Global Helix LLC; former senior partner at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

·       Martha Krebs, senior scientist in Penn State's College of Engineering and principal investigator and director of the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia

·       Jennifer Kuzma, co-director, Genetic Engineering and Society Center, North Carolina State

·       Mary Maxon, Biosciences Area Principal Deputy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

·       Raul F. Medina, entomology professor, Texas A&M

·       David Rejeski, director, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars

·       Jeffrey Wolt, Professor of Agronomy and Toxicology, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, Iowa State

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