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Amander Clark, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
University of California Los Angeles
Insoo Hyun, PhD
Director of Research Ethics
Center for Bioethics
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Bioethics
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Infertility is a disease that affects millions of reproductive age men, women, and non-binary persons in the U.S. For persons who want a biologically related child, one of the most common treatments involves invitro fertilization (IVF). However, IVF is not an option for persons who no longer make gametes. Instead, a new experimental procedure known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) could be used in these cases.
IVG involves making gametes outside of the body either from stalled gamete precursor cells, or from skin cells that can be turned into egg or sperm cells in the laboratory. Animal models have successfully used IVG to restore fertility, and basic science research is currently translating this technology to human cells - with particular emphasis on reprogramming skin cells into stem cells, followed by IVG into gametes. Amander Clark and Insoo Hyun will consider the scientific, ethical, and policy issues related to IVG as a next generation approach for human reproduction.