By Dr. David O'Brochta, GeneConvene Global Collaborative, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH)

The GeneConvene Global Collaborative, in partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), convened the third edition of Gene Editing: A Short-course for African Science Professionals this October. The course gathered fifty established science professionals from twelve African countries at UDSM’s New Library in Dar es Salaam. It took place over four days of intense instruction led by myself and Dr. Daniel Maeda, UDSM.

Many of today’s gene drive technologies rely on the use of programmable DNA endonucleases from CRISPR/Cas systems. Elements of CRISPR/Cas systems are the backbone of contemporary gene editing technologies. Contextualizing gene drive technologies as applications of gene editing technologies provides extended opportunities to inform stakeholders such as established science professionals who may not have proximal professional interests in gene drive, about these technologies. This is important, as these professionals will probably contribute to critical discussions about gene drive technologies as they develop and their potential applications garner more attention in Africa.