UMaine provides expert witnesses for state gene-editing advisory panel

Andrew Holmes, the institutional biosafety officer for the R1 University of Maine, was an expert witness this week for a statewide advisory group created by the Maine Legislature to consider gene-editing.

Holmes provided the panel an overview of the regulatory structure for gene-editing in the natural world.

Holmes is just the latest UMaine technical expert that’s been called upon to inform the advisory panel’s work. At its previous meetings, Diane Rowland, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture has spoken, as have Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences’ Benjamin King, assistant professor of bioinformatics, and Melody Neely, associate professor of molecular and biomedical sciences.

Additionally, Dmitry Bam, who serves as the vice dean for the University of Maine School of Law, presented to the panel this week.

The University of Maine System supported the creation of the advisory panel, with King testifying on the System’s behalf noting the opportunity it offers for the state to leverage UMaine’s national leadership in faculty and student research using genome-editing technologies with applications from potato breeding to disease diagnostics and treatment that will ultimately improve public and economic health and well-being.

More information about the Advisory Panel to Better Understand and Make Recommendations Regarding the Implications of Genome-editing Technology for the Citizens of the State is available here.

Contact: Margaret Nagle,