Recombinant DNA: Fifty Years of Discovery & Debates
September 27 - 30, 2023
Posters: August 25, 2023


Richard Mulligan, Sana Biotechnology
Mila Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University

The meeting on Recombinant DNA: Fifty Years of Discovery & Debates will begin at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, and conclude with lunch on Saturday, September 30th. Immediately following the meeting, there will be an optional one-day Workshop on the History of Recombinant DNA on Saturday, September 30th, 1 p.m. - Sunday, October 1st lunchtime - (details below).


  • The Discovery of Recombinant DNA
  • From Genes to the Genome – Time Flies and Fruit Flies
  • Modifying the Genome and its Expression
  • From Genes to Human Disease
  • From the Human Genome Project to Complex Traits
  • Delivering Genes into Humans
  • Modalities for Genetic Interventions
  • From Cloning to Gene Therapy – the Globin Gene Paradigm
  • The RNA Revolution

Confirmed Speakers (list of speakers not yet finalized):
Omar Abudayyeh, MIT, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Noubar Afeyan,
Flagship Pioneering
David Altshuler, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Marisa Bartolomei, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology
Jean Beggs, University of Edinburgh, UK
Welcome Bender, Harvard Medical School
Frank Bennett, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mario Capecchi, University of Utah School of Medicine
Stanley Cohen, Stanford University School of Medicine
Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health
Angela Creager, Princeton University
Pieter Cullis, University of British Columbia, Canada
Soraya de Chadarevian, University of California, Los Angeles
Peter Donnelly, Genomics PLC/University of Oxford, UK
Walter Gilbert, Harvard University
David Glover, Caltech
Jonathan Gootenberg, MIT, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Scott Gottlieb, American Enterprise Institute
Philip Gregory, 2seventy bio
Frank Grosveld, Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands
David Grunwald, University of Utah School of Medicine
James Gusella, MGH/Harvard University
Katherine High, The Rockefeller University
Helen Hobbs, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Carl June, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Katalin Kariko, BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals, Germany
Daniel Kevles, Yale University
Narry Kim, Seoul National University, Korea
Adrian Krainer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Eric Lander, MIT/Broad Institute
Peter Lobban, Affymetrix
Tom Maniatis, Columbia University
John Maragonore, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Craig Mello, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Janet Mertz, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Matthew Meselson, Harvard University
Anthony Monaco, Tufts University
Melissa Moore, UMass Chan Medical School
Richard Mulligan, Harvard Medical School/Sana Biotechnology
Bob Nelsen, Arch Venture Partners
Stuart Orkin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Stelios Papadopoulos, Biogen
Anna Pyle, Yale University
David Reich, Harvard Medical School
Peter Rigby, Institute for Cancer Research, UK
Richard Roberts, New England Biolabs, Inc.
Michael Rosbash, Brandeis University
Gerald Rubin, Janelia Research Campus/HHMI
William Rutter, University of California, San Francisco/Synergenics
Michel Sadelain, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
R. Jude Samulski, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Phillip Sharp, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Allan Spradling, Carnegie Science
John Stamatoyannopoulos, Altius Institute
Kevin Struhl, Harvard University Medical School
Sarah Teichmann, Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK
Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University
Marc van Montagu, Ghent University, Belgium
Jonathan Weissman, Whitehead Institute and MIT/HHMI
Michael Wigler, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
James Wilson, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Feng Zhang, MIT/Broad Institute

Panel Discussions:
Reflection on the Recombinant DNA Controversy: Dan Kevles
The History of the Human Genome Project: Eric Lander
Recombinant DNA Creates the Biotech Industry: Stelios Papadopoulos 

For these unique science history meetings, we invite speakers who made many of the seminal discoveries that began afield as well as those currently working in that field. We also invite historians who have examined the scientific and societal context of the field. Like the previous meetings in the series, this meeting will provide an excellent opportunity to look in-depth at the history of a topic in biology and share stories that may be missing from purely academic accounts.

Registrations are warmly welcomed by scientists, clinicians, historians, activists, and journalists. You must be registered in order to present a poster. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email containing the link for abstract submission. If you wish to present a poster, please plan on a maximum size of 4ft x 4ft (1.22m x 1.22m). Click the Information tab above for details on presenting posters at CSHL meetings

We have applied for funds from industry and other sponsors to partially offset registration costs for some attendees. Please apply in writing via email to Val Pakaluk and state your financial needs.

Post-Meeting Workshop on the History of Recombinant DNA (Optional)
September 30 - October 1 
$350/200 Workshop Fee (Corporate/Academic/Student) with/without housing

Workshop Organizers:
Luis Campos, Rice University
Angela Creager, Princeton University
Mila Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Alistair Sponsel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Since the 1976 Cambridge City Council Hearings over the safety of recombinant DNA, historians and other social scientists have been documenting developments in genetic engineering and writing about their significance. This workshop brings together thirteen leading historians of biology from the US, Europe, and Asia who will discuss the history and mythology around recombinant DNA, the growth of the biotech industry in and beyond the US, and the broader ethical, social, and legal implications of manipulating genes. The organizers are hoping the workshop presentations will generate productive discussions between scientists who lived through these events and historians who are studying them. 

Meeting attendees are warmly invited to extend their stay to participate in the workshop discussions. The workshop will begin after lunch on Saturday, September 30, and conclude at lunchtime on Sunday, October 1.

Confirmed speakers at the workshop:
Christina Brandt, Institute for Zoology & Evolutionary Research Friedrich Schiller Universitat, Jena, Germany
Luis Campos, Rice University
Francesco Cassata, University of Genoa and Centro Linceo 'B. Segre' (IT)
Nathaniel Comfort, Johns Hopkins University
Angela Creager, Princeton University
Soraya de Chadarevian, University of California, Los Angeles
Miguel Garcia Sancho Sanchez, University of Edinburgh, UK
Lijing Jiang, John Hopkins University
Daniel Kevles, Yale University
Kathryn Maxson Jones, Purdue University
Gregory Morgan, Stevens Institute of Technology
Mila Pollock, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Robin Scheffler, MIT
Alistair Sponsel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Doogab Yi, Seoul National University, Korea South

All meeting attendees are warmly invited to extend their stay to participate in the workshop discussions.

NEB    NEB    NEB    NEB      NEB

Social Media:

The designated hashtag for this meeting is #cshhist23. Note that you must obtain permission from an individual presenter before live-tweeting or discussing his/her talk, poster, or research results on social media. Click the Policies tab above to see our full Confidentiality & Reporting Policy.

Financial support provided by: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Qiagen

In-Person Fees:

Academic/Media Private Room/Private Bath Package: $1355
Academic/Media Private Room/Shared Bath Package: $1275
Academic Shared Room Package: $1170
Academic/Media No-Housing Package: $890
Student Package/Double Occupancy: $1080
Student Package/No Housing Package: $800
Corporate Private Room/Private Bath Package: $1755
Corporate No-Housing Package: $1290

Meeting Plus Workshop Additional Fees (September 27 - October 1):
With Housing:       $350
Without Housing:  $200
Virtual Option        $ 75

*Student Housing is default double occupancy. Please inquire about availability and fees to upgrade to a private room.
NOTE: We cannot guarantee housing will be on campus

Room package reservations close 2 weeks before the meeting start date

Virtual Participation: Includes access to the oral sessions via Zoom, the digital poster gallery, the Slack discussion workspace, and the Leading Strand video archive.  If you are submitting an abstract for an oral or poster presentation, please plan to attend the meeting in-person.

Presenters: Individuals submitting abstracts and facing financial barriers should first request financial aid (see above). Permission to present your talk or poster virtually will be given only in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. If you think you are eligible for an exemption from the requirement to present in person, please provide a justification in writing via email to Val Pakaluk.

Non-presenting participants: We plan to broaden access to the conference by allowing certain categories of non-presenting participants to attend virtually at reduced fees. Categories include: 
1. Individuals from low & middle-income countries; 
2. Individuals from non-LMIC countries in Asia, Australasia, Africa, or South America; 
3. Individuals from US & Canadian minority-serving institutions; 
4. Individuals with a demonstrable financial barrier; 
5. Individuals with family obligations or other special circumstances. 
For categories 4 & 5 above, please provide a justification via email to Val Pakaluk

Virtual Fees

Academic Virtual Package $280
Grad Student Virtual Package: $165
Corporate Virtual Package: $415

Late Fee (Registrations submitted after 5:00 p.m. ET on September 21)
Late Academic Virtual Package: $380
Late Student Virtual Package: $265
Late Corporate Virtual Package: $515