National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., issued an April 29 statement affirming that the NIH will not fund any use of gene-editing technologies in human embryos.
Dr. Collins notes that “there are multiple existing legislative and regulatory prohibitions against this kind of work,” citing the Dickey-Wicker amendment (H.R. 2880), NIH Guidelines on recombinant DNA, and FDA regulations (21 CFR Part 312). The statement also clarifies that this ban does not apply to research projects studying genomic editing in other organisms, which the NIH currently funds. The statement closes, “NIH will continue to support a wide range of innovations in biomedical research, but will do so in a fashion that reflects well-established scientific and ethical principles.”