GES Cluster Hires
In 2011 NCSU received a $3 million graduate training grant from the NSF IGERT program titled “Genetic Engineering and Society: The case of transgenic pests”. The general NSF goal for IGERT programs is to foster interdisciplinary graduate education. The NCSU IGERT is now the first graduate program in the world specifically aimed at training graduate students to understand, build, and assess impacts of transgenic organisms on ecosystems and societies. Our innovative program integrates disciplines as diverse as molecular genetics and anthropology. However, the IGERT program is designed to maintain the focus of students and faculty by studying a small set of species that are targets for genetic pest management.
The NC State Genetic Engineering and Society Cluster hire is focused on developing a strong, sustained research and graduate training program that builds from the specific IGERT program to encompass the broader reaches of genetic engineering, including transgenic microbes, crops and livestock, gene therapy, and the emerging area of synthetic biology. A major goal of this program is to build trust, rigor, and creativity among academic disciplines and among publics. Our approach will be to first build excellence in the specific area of engineered pest species and then broaden to other areas.
By building an interdisciplinary program that aims at transparency and inclusion of diverse perspectives in long term, rigorous dialogue, our unique program will have a global impact on the design and development of genetically engineered organisms. By combining expertise in biological and social sciences as well as humanities, we will provide citizens and policy makers with information developed through detailed research and deliberation from which they can make informed decisions.