Biomedical Technology Assessment

Oversight of Human Gene Transfer Research

Human gene transfer is the deliberate transfer into human research participants of either recombinant nucleic acid molecules, or DNA or RNA derived from recombinant nucleic acid molecules, or synthetic nucleic acid molecules.

Human gene transfer research often raises scientific, medical, ethical, and social considerations worthy of special attention and public discussion. Some of these issues arise from the fact that the techniques being used are relatively new and their risks and benefits are not well characterized. The Biomedical Technology Assessment Program of oversight on human gene transfer allows for an in-depth examination of the issues associated with this technology in a setting where public input and comment is encouraged.