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12:30 PM | Ethics of Human Genome Editing with CRISPR

  • University of Illinois College of Medicine (map)

University of Illinois College of Medicine (UIC)

Moss Auditorium 1020, College of Medicine Research Building (COMRB)

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

A lecture by Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP (Providence College)

Free and open to the public.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Thomistic Institute, the UIC St. John Paul II Newman Center Integritas Institute, and the UIC Christian Medical and Dental Association student organization.

Event Description:

The discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 has revolutionized our ability to edit genomes, the human genome included. How do faith-based bioethicists maneuver the ethical landscape of human genetic engineering? In contrast to secular bioethicists, who often appeal to individual autonomy, Fr. Austriaco proposes that faith-based bioethicists prioritize human dignity over personal autonomy as their moral guide.

Speaker Bio: 

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., completed his Bachelor’s Degree (B.S.E.) in Bioengineering, summa cum laude, at the University of Pennsylvania, and then earned his Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T. in the laboratory of Professor Leonard Guarente, where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He was ordained a priest in the Order of Preachers in May of 2004. He completed his Pontifical License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in Moral Theology, summa cum laude, at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, in 2005, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), magna cum laude, at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, in 2015.

Fr. Austriaco currently serves as Professor of Biology and of Theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. His NIHfunded laboratory at Providence College is investigating the genetics of programmed cell death using the yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, as model organisms. Papers describing his research have been published in PLoS ONE, FEMS Yeast Research, Microbial Cell, Cell, the Journal of Cell Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, among others. In philosophy and theology, his essays have been published in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Theological Studies, Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, Science and Theology, and the Linacre Quarterly. His first book, Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics, was published by the Catholic University of America Press in 2011. It was recognized as a 2012 Choice outstanding academic title by the Association of College and Research Libraries.