Pre-Conference Workshop Day

*All times are shown in PST | EST

Workshop A

Tuesday, Decmber 1

7:30 - 9:30 | 10:30 - 12:30

Evaluating & Detecting the Presence of CRISPR Off-Target Effects in Plants

The CRISPR toolbox is rapidly expanding as the ‘classic’ CRISPR-Cas9 is developed to be more specific, efficient, and safe. While regulators are highly concerned with off-target effects of CRISPR for clinical application, the potential magnitude of offtarget edits in crops is smaller than conventional or mutation breeding. Recent studies have shown that with appropriate design of genome editing reagents, off-target edits in plants are nearly undetectable in
the background of inherent genetic variation. Reducing off-targets in the first place and detecting their presence will be explored, as well as relevance of off-target effects in plants in the light of standing genomic variation.

Attend this workshop to learn about:

  • Developing and utilizing new tools to optimize editing specificity and reduce the potential for offtarget edits
  • Discussing the challenges of detecting off-target edits in the background of inherent variation in plants
  • Creating quick and efficient methods to detect ontarget edits in plants
  • Precision of CRISPR compared to conventional breeding tools historically proven to create safe products
  • Understanding why relevance of off-target effects in plants is different from therapeutic applications
  • Sequencing and other detection methods for measuring off-target edits in plants

Workshop Leader:

Sandeep Kumar

Sandeep Kumar
Principal Investigator & Senior Scientist
Corteva Agriscience

Workshop B

10:00 - 12:00 | 13:00-15:00

Establishing a Presence in the CRISPR AgBio Space

The CRISPR space is exploding, and more companies than ever before are entering the space with the realization that we are on the cusp of an agricultural revolution, and now is the time to get involved. Gene editing is only part of the key criteria for a successful company in this space, and a grounding in the regulatory, technical, and commercial aspects of agricultural application of CRISPR will help set up for success in the years to come.

Attend this workshop to learn about:

  • Regulatory considerations along the timeline of bringing a gene edited crop to market
  • Different functions required to establish a strong presence
  • Development of gRNAs to target the desired sequence
  • Best strategies to identify the crops and traits that will give most commercial returns
  • Collaborations across the space – where are the gaps and how to fill them

Workshop Leader:

Keith Matthews

Keith Matthews
Of Counsel
Wiley Rein

Workshop C

12:30 - 14:30 | 15:30 -17:30

Evaluating Strategies to Effectively Improve Public Awareness of Gene Edited Crops

Innovative CRISPR tools have the power to transform crops, improving traits for increased productivity, yield, and crop protection. However, this revolution in agriculture will have no meaning unless consumers embrace gene edited crops. Identifying promising strategies, learning from past mistakes, and exploring success stories, this workshop will give you the tools to ensure consumer confidence when your product reaches the market.

Attend this workshop to learn about:

  • Exploring how deregulation of products is necessary but not sufficient for successful marketization
  • Evaluating potential strategies to improve public acceptance of gene editing in agriculture
  • Showcasing successful case studies which show promise
  • Educating in the most effective way so gene edited crops are not feared or rejected by consumers
  • Discussing what different companies are doing in this space

Workshop Leader:


Paul Zankowski
Senior Advisor for Plant Health and Production & Plan Products