October 31, 2015 • NYU Langone Medical Center • New York

HGP-write Conceptual Meeting

Hosted by: Jef D. Boeke, George Church, Andrew Hessel, and Nancy J Kelley

biopolicy summit 2017


On October 31st, 2015, 26 leaders in the fields of genetics and synthetic biology convened at the Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City to conceptualize and discuss the feasibility of a bold quest: synthesizing the human genome (HGP-write). HGP-write represents the next chapter in our understanding of the blueprint of life.

As defined at this initial meeting, HGP-write will be an open, international scientific research project led by a group of scientific leaders from multiple disciplines, including biology, chemistry, computational biology, engineering, social science, and ethics. The primary goal of the project will be to synthesize, or write, human-sized genomes in a cell line within ten years.

The October meeting was a part of a series of scientific discussions amongst the community that have been unfolding over the past several years. Initially, these meetings were focused on the synthesis and testing of yeast and bacterial genomes, the future of synthetic biology, and more recently, the synthesis of variations within large genomes (on the scale of the 3 billion base pair human genome) as a pathway to addressing some of the many global challenges facing humanity, including healthcare and the environment.