The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology held a briefing on the importance of research in dogs to improve canine and human health. Timothy Nichols of UNC-Chapel Hill, Amy LeBlanc of the National Cancer Institute and Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute discussed their research into a variety of canine ailments that have been very informative in understanding and treating human disorders.
The Personal Genetics Education Project from Harvard Medical School organized a congressional briefing on human gene editing and frontiers in genetic technology. The panelists included Diana Bianchi of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts University describing innovation in prenatal tests that can analyze fetal DNA from maternal blood samples and George Church of Harvard Medical School explaining the potential of gene editing technologies to read, write, and predict the genome. Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, spoke about CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology and the role it could play in disease, agriculture, organ transplant, and gene drives.
Act for NIH, on behalf of the Senate’s NIH Caucus, held a briefing to highlight what the American people get for their investments in biomedical research. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Tony Fauci briefed the audience on progress made in treating HIV/AIDS, Ebola and the promise of a universal flu vaccine, while James Crowe, Jr, the director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center discussed exciting research done in his laboratory, and the effects cuts to the NIH budget is having on his trainees.