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Kazuto Kato

Photo from Kazuto Kato’s biography at
University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law

Gary Humphreys talks to Kazuto Kato about the ethical and societal challenges posed by biotechnologies that allow for the editing of the human genome.

Q: You started out working in developmental biology. How did you become interested in the field of ethics and governance of biomedicine?

A: As a student, I always had a broad interest in the societal issues related to biological science and its application and was actually a member of a student club that focused on such issues. I was also encouraged to look at issues outside the laboratory by my uncle, Professor Shuzo Nishimura, a pioneer in the field of health economics in Japan. Of course, I also had nine years at Kyoto University and four years at the University of Cambridge with Sir John Gurdon studying biology, with a focus on stem cell biology and genomics. This background has helped me navigate what is sometimes complex terrain.

Q: Given that complexity, can you start by giving our readers a simple definition of genomics... see more