Genetics expert welcomes ruling on gene editing

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Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University, has welcomed the go-ahead from the fertility regulator for UK scientists to genetically modify human embryos.

Commenting on the decision by the regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), Professor Griffin said it demonstrated that the UK now ‘leads the world’ in both the science and social science of research into early human development.

Professor Griffin, of the School of Biosciences, said: ‘The ruling by the HFEA is a triumph for common sense. While it is certain that the prospect of gene editing in human embryos raised a series of ethical issues and challenges, the problem has been dealt with in a balanced manner.

‘It is clear that the potential benefits of the work proposed far outweigh the foreseen risks. It is a clear example how the UK leads the world not only in the science behind research into early human development but also the social science used to regulate and monitor it.’

Professor Griffin’s main interests are in the study of chromosomes, principally in humans (from spermatogenesis to preimplantation development) and birds. He is a member of the University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR) which comprises several like-minded academics dedicated to the study of reproduction in all its forms.

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