Stanford Investigates Staff Involvement with China’s Genetic Modified Twins

Stanford has engaged independent investigators on the involvement of three senior academic staff members with HE Jiankui, former Professor of Southern China S&T University. HE applied CRISPR technology to produce HIV immunized, genetically modified twin girls at the end of last year. The three Stanford staff members are Matthew Porteus, genetic engineering specialist, Stephen Quake, Biologist and Executive Chairman of Steven Chan Zuckerberg Bio Hub, and William Hurlbut, Medical Ethnologist and Neuroscientist. Stephen Quake was HE’s supervisor during his post-Doctrine study. There is evidence that a number of international scientists were aware of the project and even provided some level of consultation to the project team. This independent investigation aims to find out whether Stanford staff members provided any financial and technical assistance to the project and whether any risk prevention measurements were discussed in their consultations. HE was known for being generous in sponsoring international scientists to visit China. The birth of the genetically modified twins has been viewed as the “failure of the scientific world’s thorough lack of self-discipline”. The involved parties are facing huge damages to their reputation with potential legal consequences.

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