Message from Committee Chair: Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, Mexico
The rapid advancement of genomics and its related technologies has significantly increased the number of areas where its impact becomes relevant. As a result, specific applications begin to arise in areas like healthcare, agriculture, livestock, and environmental remediation, among others.
The continuous improvements in DNA sequencing technologies and drop of its cost have stimulated genome projects of over 4,000 species, and it is likely to lead to the sequence of whole human genomes for less than a $1,000 dollars in the coming future. In addition, initial recognition of genomic biomarkers associated to drug adverse effects has led to new regulations in which a number of labels of FDA approved drugs now include pharmacogenomic information. These trends, along with a continuous increase in the number of loci contributing to common human diseases will power the routine use of genomic information in medical practice. Moreover, convergence of life sciences including genomics and engineering has led to new disciplines such as synthetic biology with significant potential to generate solutions of important economic impact.
Applications of biotechnology to primary production, health and industry are resulting in an emerging “bioeconomy” contributing to a significant share of the economic output. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), genomics is becoming one of three major components to the bioeconomy. If the current trends continue, genomics will soon have the ability to generate important socioeconomic contributions to meet global challenges related to availability of food, water, energy, and healthcare for a population that will increase by a third in the next 20 years, and that already is under growing environmental stresses.
The development of the bioeconomy is likely to occur in industrialized countries as well as in those emerging and developing economies. In the developing world the promise of genomic applications is of great importance to basic economic progress. These include generation of affordable and sustainable food supplies, higher productivity crops, and enhanced abilities to combat current and emerging infectious and endemic diseases. Development of these and other applications hold promise for the provision of solutions to many of global challenges. However, for the bioeconomy to succeed, considerable uncertainties facing both public and private sectors will need to be addressed.
In the interest of analyzing the state of genomics in the context of the bioeconomy, HUGO conducted two initial work meetings jointly with the OECD and other organizations: The International Symposium "Genomics and the Bioeconomy", in Montpelier, France in 2010, and the International Working Summit "Converging technologies in genomics: Opportunities for a global economy" in Dubai, UAE in 2011.
HUGO's interest in the different implications of genomics in contemporary societies has led to the integration of this Committee on Genomics and Bioeconomy, to assess the progressive impact of genomics in the global economy.
The mission of this Committee is to provide assessment and commentary on how genomic sciences impact on economic activity.
- To promote discussion and understanding of the economic impact of knowledge derived from genomic sciences and technologies.
- To bring experts together from the public and private sectors to identify the necessary steps to integrate genomic technologies into the bioeconomy in industrialized, emerging economies, and developing countries.
- To assess and to comment on the changes in intellectual property landscape relative to genomics. On this issue, the Bioeconomy Committee will subsume the responsibilities of the previous HUGO IP Committee.
- To deliberate about specific challenges for public policy to stimulate progressive integration of genomics into the bioeconomy, including intellectual property, knowledge valuation, innovative governance and public engagement in the definition of priorities.
- To collaborate with other international bodies in economics, development, health, and society to carry out its mission and disseminate information.
- To deliberate about policy issues relative to economic issues in order to provide advice to the HUGO Council, and to issue statements when appropriate.
- To report on its activities to the HUGO Council, and to act on any other related matter.
Links / Resources
HUGO-OCDE-MRC-FUNSALUD International Symposium: "Genomics and the Bioeconomy", Montpelier, France, 2010.
"Converging technologies in genomics: Opportunities for a global economy". HUGO - OECD International Working Summit, Dubai, UAE. May 2011. Dubai, UAE March 2011.
Documents of interest
Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, Mexico
Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez was born in Mexico City. He is an MD and a pediatrician with a PhD in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University. He received his training in business administration from the IPADE Business School. He is the Chairman of the Working Party on Biotechnology at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where he has been annually re-elected as chair since 2007. He serves as a Council Member to the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) and chairs HUGO’s Committee on Genomics and Bioeconomy. At the World Health Organization, he is a member of the Scientific Board for the Grand Challenges in Genomics for Public Health. Dr. Jimenez-Sanchez teaches Business in Life Sciences at the IPADE Business School and he is Professor of Genomic Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He was the founder Director General of the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico (INMEGEN). He is the leading investigator in the Mexican Genomic Diversity Project. He is a certified pediatrician and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Society of Gene Therapy, and the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disease, among other academic organizations. He was President of the first and second National Congress of Genomic Medicine in Mexico, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Population Projects in Genomics (P3G). He was the founder President of the Mexican Society of Genomic Medicine and is the Regional Editor for Latin America and the Caribbean of the HUGO Journal.
Dr. Robert Mullan Cook-Deegan, USA
Dr. Cook-Deegan holds an MD and a postdoctoral training in molecular biology of oncogenes from the University of Colorado. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry, magna cum laude, from Harvard College. He is Director of the Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy of Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy since 2002. He is the author on over 200 articles. He is former director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship program at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Investigator at Georgetown University, and a seminar leader at Stanford-in-Washington. He worked at The National Academies in various capacities. Dr. Cook-Deegan was a member of the Board of Directors, Physicians for Human Rights, with whom he participated in human rights missions to Turkey, Iraq and Panama. He directed IOM's Division of Biobehavioral Sciences and Mental Disorders and worked for the National Center for Human Genome Research, after serving Acting Executive Director of the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee of the U.S. Congress. Dr. Cook-Deegan was a AAAS Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow and spent six years at the United States congressional Office of Technology Assessment.
Rick Johnson, USA
Rick Johnson is the CEO and Founder of Global Helix LLC, a consulting and government strategy firm based in Washington DC, that focuses on strategic policy issues related to S&T policy, innovation, the globalization of R&D, massive data, technology standards, intellectual assets, research policy, and public-private partnerships -- especially in the life sciences.
He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School and his M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as General Counsel for International Trade at the U.S. Commerce Department and has worked extensively on a broad range of life sciences strategy and policy issues related to bio-economy trends at the intersection of research, business, government policies, innovation, and societal “grand challenges”.
He serves as the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of three OECD/BIAC Committees – Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Technology, and Nanotechnology. He participates on several National Academy of Sciences panels and projects, including the Six Academy Project. He currently is involved in a number of global policy and legal initiatives related to emerging technologies, including synthetic biology, tools for “big data”, and next-generation genomics discovery and innovation.
Prof. Edison T. Liu, Singapore
Dr. Edison Liu was born in Hong Kong, China, and emigrated to the United States in 1957. He received his bachelor's degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in chemistry and psychology from Stanford University where he remained to complete his M.D. in 1978. This was followed by internship and residency in internal medicine at Washington University, St. Louis, and clinical cancer fellowships at Stanford University (Oncology), and at the University of California at San Francisco (Hematology). He then pursued post-doctoral studies as a Damon-Runyan Cancer Research Fellow at the University of California at San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. J. Michael Bishop identifying transforming genes in human leukemic states. In 1987 when he joined the faculty of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, he developed programs in leukemia and breast cancer research centering on molecular epidemiology and cell signalling. In 2001, Dr. Liu assumed the position of Executive Director, Genome Institute of Singapore which is a flagship programme of the Biomedical Sciences Initiative of Singapore. At the GIS, he is building an international research institute of 300 individuals focused on integrating genomic sciences with cell and medical biology. His scientific investigations have spanned molecular epidemiology to molecular biochemistry of human oncogenes and his current scientific research investigates the dynamics of whole genome gene transcription that explains biological states in cancer.
Dr. Pierre Meulien, Canada
Dr. Pierre Meulien was appointed President and CEO of Genome Canada in October, 2010. Prior to this appointment, he served as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome British Columbia from 2007 to 2010. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Meulien served as the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland) which linked the three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin to build a critical mass in molecular medicine and translational research. The Centre managed the Euro 45 Million "Program for Human Genomics" financed by the Irish government and was responsible for coordinating the successful application for the first Wellcome Trust funded Clinical Research Centre to be set up in Ireland. For over 20 years, Dr. Meulien has managed expert research teams with a number of organizations, including Aventis Pasteur in Toronto (Senior Vice President of R&D), and in Lyon, France (Director of Research). He also spent seven years with the French biotechnology company Transgene in Strasbourg, France as a research scientist and part of the management team. Dr. Meulien's academic credentials include a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and a post-doctoral appointment at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
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