Genome Editing with CRISPR: Dignity and Other Faith-Based Considerations

Oct 17, 2019
BSLC 109
924 E 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Back to Events

Nicanor Austriaco, O.P.Providence College


Cosponsored by the Program on Religion and Medicine at the University of Chicago, McCormick Theological Seminary, and the Society of Catholic Scientists. This program is made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

The discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 has revolutionized our ability to edit genomes, the human genome included. How do faith-based ethicists maneuver the landscape of human genetic engineering? What challenges do biotechnological advances pose to the dignity of the human person? Should genetic editing be celebrated? Cautiously advanced? Ruled out? In this lecture, biologist and Dominican Priest Nicanor Austriaco considered the prospects and challenges of CRISPR for the promotion of human dignity.

Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. is Professor in the Department of Biology of Providence College and director of He holds a PhD in Biology from MIT. Fr. Austriaco does research in experimental molecular biology, especially programmed cell death in unicellular eukaryotes.  He is a priest of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) and also has a doctorate in theology from the Univ. of Fribourg in Switzerland. Among other distinctions he is an investigator in the NIH-Rhode Island Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Program. He is the author of Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics (CUA Press, 2011), and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Catholic Scientists.