Safe Genes project: Restoring Ecosystems and Biodiversity through Development of Safe and Effective Gene Drive Technologies

Thank you for visiting this page about our Safe Genes project. This page is a ‘work in progress’ and mainly includes links that I think will be helpful currently with more information to be added.  If you do have questions that are not addressed by material here, please do contact me at

NCSU is the lead institution on this project with other participants including Texas A&M University, the University of Adelaide and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Island Conservation, and the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. Together these partners bring in a wealth of expertise in a range of fields including genetics, behavioral biology, mathematical modeling, risk assessment, regulatory issues, and stakeholder and community engagement. We feel this diversity of experience and expertise is critical for carefully and responsibly evaluating this technology.

Useful links:

DARPA Safe Genes program

NCSU Graduate Student site: Island Mice – Conserving Island Biodiversity

This is a very thoughtful and in-depth treatment by NCSU Doctoral student participants in a NSF-funded IGERT program.  Importantly, the students undertook creating this resource before CRISPR-based approaches began receiving wide attention.

Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents program

This page has a variety of resources relevant to the goals of the GBIRd partnership as well as links to a variety of media pieces on the work and goals of the group.  GBIRd is a partnership among universities, agencies, and the NGO Island Conservation that is distinct from our Safe Genes project. This link is provided to enable easy access to information. Please note that although there is overlap between the investigators in this Safe Genes project and the GBIRd partnership, DARPA does not fund the GBIRd partnership.

Genetic Engineering and Society Center at NCSU.

Journal of Responsible Innovation publishes ‘Roadmap to Gene Drives’ special issue

This issue was developed from a workshop organized at NCSU in 2016 and aimed at an evaluation of “potential ecological, political economy, ethical, and other issues to guide research and development of gene drives” (from the Introduction). This should be an interesting and valuable resource for those interested in learning more.

Science Cafe Presentation on Gene Drives by John Godwin and Jason Delborne

This is a recording of a Science Cafe event at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on September 28, 2017.  John Godwin and Jason Delborne discussed gene drives and addressed questions from an audience of approximately 115 people at the state science museum in downtown Raleigh, NC.  We appreciated and greatly enjoyed this opportunity and would be very happy to talk about meeting with other groups for similar interactions if this is of interest.