Iowa State University

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777



Manjit Misra, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6821,

Jeff Wolt, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, (515) 294-6899,

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704,

Symposium will address biotechnology and law at Iowa State April 23.

AMES, Iowa--The fifth annual symposium of Iowa State University's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP) April 23 will include discussion of biotechnology regulations that are responsive to scientific innovation.

The symposium, "Biotechnology Policy and Law," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., April 23, at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, U.S. Highway 30 and University Boulevard, Ames.

"The 2008 symposium will offer participants a chance to hear a slate of speakers who are on the cutting edge of research and policy in biotechnology," said Jeff Wolt, Iowa State professor of agronomy and organizer of the event. "This symposium will offer valuable and timely information to anyone who is involved in the study or trade of genetically engineered crops or who simply has an interest in these issues."

The morning session titled, "Biotechnology and Intellectual Property," will be chaired and moderated by former Iowa governor and BIGMAP distinguished fellow Tom Vilsack.

During the session, speakers will offer their perspectives on intellectual property (IP) considerations for agricultural biotechnology and their policy implications.

Guy Cardineau, a research professor for the School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a faculty fellow with the Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, will address patent rights from the perspective of the inventor. Cardineau is an inventor with more than 40 patents in plant sciences and has extensive experience in IP issues.

Jason Hunt will address litigation matters relating to the enforcement and defense of intellectual property rights in U.S. federal courts and Iowa state courts. Hunt is an associate with Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, located in Des Moines. He works with both the law firm's patent and the trademark, copyright and brand management groups.

Cardinaeu and Hunt will be joined by a representative from the U.S. Patent Office who will provide further perspectives on IP issues in biotechnology.

The afternoon session will feature presentations on biotechnology innovation and regulatory challenges followed by a panel discussion moderated by Wolt.

Steven Strauss will talk about the "Impacts of Regulation on Research and Development of Genetically Modified Woody Biofuel Crops." Strauss is a professor in the department of forest science with joint appointments in the genetics and molecular and cellular biology programs at Oregon State University. Strauss directs the Tree Biosafety and Genomics Research Cooperative (TBGRC), a university, public agency and industry consortium conducting research and education on the biosafety and physiology of genetically engineered trees. Strauss also directs the Program for Outreach in Resource Biotechnology at Oregon State that promotes public understanding of biotechnology issues.

Scott Hurd, U. S. Department of Agriculture deputy undersecretary for food safety and Iowa State University associate professor, will speak on emerging issues regarding the safety of animal biotechnology. Hurd, a senior epidemiologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has performed extensive analytical research on food risks and food safety.

Also speaking in the afternoon session will be Gregory Jaffe and Michael Hall. The speakers will address issues of both national and global importance relative to the regulation of plant biotechnology. Jaffe serves as director of the Project on Biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. His work addresses scientific concerns, government policies and corporate practices concerning genetically engineered plants, animals and other organisms that are released into the environment or that may end up in food. Hall is a regional biotechnology advisor for the United States Agency for International Development, East Africa Regional Mission.

Registration for the event is $150 ($75 for ISU faculty/staff, $25 for students or free for students not including lunch). For more information or to register, visit

The Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products provides public-based expertise in risk assessment, communication and mitigation strategies for agricultural biotechnology. The symposium was made possible with funds from USDA and is cosponsored by Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute.


Quick look

The fifth annual symposium of ISU's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products will be held April 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The symposium will feature discussion of biotechnology regulations that are responsive to scientific innovation.