Paulo Paes de Andrade

View all speakers
Paes de Andrade, Paulo

Paulo Paes de Andrade, 59, is Associate Professor at the Department of Genetics, Federal University of Pernambuco, which he joined in 1983. He is a Physicist, with MSc and PhD in Cell Biology and postdoctoral studies in molecular biology and immunology.   

His research group collaborated in broad programs to study the transcriptome of Leishmania, and gene expression in plants, especially sugar cane, soya and beans.  Various recombinant Leishamania antigens were isolated for molecular diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis and one of them led to a patent, which was transferred to the private sector and is now employed in the sole recombinant diagnostic test produced in Brazil.     

In 2006 Prof. Andrade joined the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio), as a member of the Environmental Risk Assessment Sub-committee, with outstanding performance in analyzing submissions for confined and commercial relases of GMOs and in the drafting and revision of CTNBio rules and regulations.

Wed July 10 | 4:30 - 6:00 | Plenary Session
ABSTRACT: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

GMO environment risk assessment recently evolved to maturity. The five main steps were established and, within the first step (Context), the five crucial elements have also been defined. The step by step procedure successfully applies to every genetically modified organism. There are presently no reports on environmental damage due to GMOs, in spite of the diversity of constructions and widespread use, thus confirming the robustness of the systematic. Environment risks due to organisms having synthetic constructs replacing genes or gene fragments can certainly be evaluated in the same way,in spite of the lack of a suitable comparator for a fully new construct. Naturally, the evaluation of a fully new organism will be the greatest challenge, but is still far from the market. Therefore, it is important for the industry and for consumers to clearly establish to the society the power and appropriateness of the present risk assessment systematic when applied for the first generation of organisms based on synthetic biology, in order to allow their commercial release. In fact, the same groups against biotechnology are also against synthetic biology and they are trying to separate the risk assessment of products derived from the two technologies in order to build an almost unsurpassable barrier for the new technology. Moreover, international agreements and conventions, like the Cartagena Protocol to the Convention of Biodiversity, are by themselves, also powerful limitations to the adoption of new product based on synthetic biology. To avoid general frustration among young scientists devoted to synthetic biology, the transition from discovery to innovation should be discussed now, before the opposition blocks every future attempt by overprecautionary regulations. The talk will detailed discuss this subject.