Genome Editing in Agriculture: Potential Opportunities and Way Forward in Bangladesh

    October 4, 2021
    3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Dhaka, Bangladesh



In recent years, genome editing has emerged as a novel tool for crop improvement, as it enables both precise and efficient modification of a plant’s genome. The Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2020 was awarded to inventors of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, i.e., Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier from France and Dr. Jennifer Doudna from the USA. CRISPR/Cas9 and other genome editing techniques are currently being used extensively all over the world to incorporate desirable traits in different crops, including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, and vegetables. In some countries, such products have been approved for commercial cultivation. Translating these research initiatives into products requires enabling policies. Organized by the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS), South Asia Biosafety Program (SABP), Agriculture & Food Systems Institute (AFSI), and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), this webinar was a knowledge-sharing initiative focused on developments in gene editing and the need for enabling policies in Bangladesh, so as to make use of this new technology in order to meet the urgent need for improved crops.

Speakers and Panelists

Prof. Dr. Haseena Khan
Secretary, BAS
Prof. Dr. A.K. Azad Chowdhury
President, BAS
Dr. Andrew Roberts
Dr. Vibha Ahuja
Chief General Manager, BCIL & Senior Advisor, SABP
Dr. Jimmy Botella
Professor, University of Queensland
Dr. A.B.M. Md. Khademul Islam
Professor, University of Dhaka & Associate Fellow, BAS
Dr. Zeba Seraj
Professor, University of Dhaka & Fellow, BAS
Dr. K.C. Bansal
Secretary, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India
Dr. Aparna Islam
Professor, BRAC University
Dr. Md. Tofazzal Islam
Professor, BSMRAU & Fellow, BAS
Dr. Tahmina Islam
Assistant Professor, University of Dhaka
Dr. Mirza Hasanuzzaman
Professor, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University & Fellow, BAS
Dr. Zahurul Karim
Vice President, BAS


3:30 pm

Welcome Remarks

Prof. Dr. Haseena Khan, Secretary, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences

3:35 pm

Introduction to the Webinar

Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Senior Adviser, South Asia Biosafety Program and Chief General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited

3:40 pm

Opening Remarks

Prof. Dr. A.K. Azad Chowdhury, President, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences

3:45 pm

Introduction to Genome Editing

Dr. Jimmy Botella, University of Queensland, Australia

4:05 pm

Applications of Gene Editing in Healthcare

Dr. A.B.M. Md. Khademul Islam, Professor, Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

4:15 pm

Gene Editing for Crop Improvement in Bangladesh: Key Research Initiatives

Dr. Zeba Seraj, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

4:25 pm

Requirements for Taking Forward Gene Edited Plants in Various Countries

Dr. Andrew Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, USA

4:40 pm

Recommended Framework for Regulating Gene Editing in Plants in India

Dr. K.C. Bansal, Secretary, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India and Former Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources

4:55 pm

Panel Discussion on the Need for Enabling Policies for Use of Gene Editing in Bangladesh

Dr. Aparna Islam, Professor, BRAC University, Bangladesh

Dr. Md. Tofazzal Islam, Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur, Bangladesh

Dr. Tahmina Islam, Department of Botany, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr. Mirza Hasanuzzaman, Professor, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University & Fellow, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences

5:25 pm

Closing Remarks

Dr. Zahurul Karim, Vice President, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences