(by Rhoda Wilson | The Exposé) – This is part two of a series about the CRISPR/Cas gene editing system. In part one, which you can read HERE, we looked at who discovered and developed the system. Jennifer Doudna, in particular, has received many rewards and is touted as the “co-inventor” however ongoing disputes over patents would indicate otherwise.
In this part, we explore the World Economic Forum (“WEF”) and Bill Gates’ interests in CRISPR. As Doudna’s business interests seem to be intertwined with both, we begin with a brief description of the organisations she has founded.
We thank Threads Irish who has collected some research on this topic which proved useful for our own. It’s worth reading their article titled ‘Why Would Bill Gates & The World Economic Forum Be So Interested in CRISPR Technology? Prepare To Be Shocked’ as well as ours as it has additional information we have not included and vice versa.
Doudna the Founder and Scientific Advisor
In 2011, Doudna co-started Caribou Biosciences as what she calls “a research tool company” to exploit the possibility that CRISPR could be used to simplify the detection of viral infections like HIV. In September 2013, Doudna co-founded Editas Medicine but left after a falling out with Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute.
As detailed in part one, in 2012 the University of California, Berkeley, team led by Doudna filed a patent for CRISPR that was approved in 2019. The Broad Institute’s patent had previously been approved in 2014.
In 2014, Doudna founded the Innovative Genomics Institute (“IGI”) which uses “genome engineering to solve humanity’s greatest problems in health, climate, and sustainable agriculture.”
Genome engineering to “solve” climate? Genome engineering and climate don’t seem to be a logical fit in any one sentence, let alone when one is being touted as a solution for the other. But then “climate,” as in ‘Earth we have a problem’ type of climate, and “sustainability” are mantras incessantly used by supporters of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Agenda 2030. Any organisation that peddles WEF mantras, especially when they seem to be used out of context, can be suspected of being World Economic Forum. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
IGI began in 2014 through the Li Ka Shing Centre for Genetic Engineering, which was created thanks to a generous donation from the Li Ka Shing Foundation. The Innovative Genomics Initiative was formed as a partnership between the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco. The following year, “generous philanthropic donations enabled a bolder vision and broader mission” for the Initiative and in January 2017 it officially re-launched as the Innovative Genomics Institute. IGI’s funders now include DARPA, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Open Philanthropy, and Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
In 2015, Doudna became a founding member of Intellia Therapeutics, a spin-off from Caribou Biosciences. However, she is no longer on the management team of Intellia according to their website, although her own website states she is on Intellia’s scientific advisory board. In 2017, Doudna co-founded Mammoth Biosciences and Scribe Therapeutics.
As well as a founder as above, Jennifer A. Doudna (“J.A.D.”) is a scientific advisory board member of Vertex, Caribou Biosciences, Intellia Therapeutics, Scribe Therapeutics, Mammoth Biosciences, Algen Biotechnologies, Felix Biosciences, The Column Group and Inari.
She is also Chief Science Advisor to Sixth Street, a Director at Johnson & Johnson, Altos and Tempus, and has research projects sponsored by Biogen, Pfizer, AppleTree Partners and Roche.
The Doudna Lab currently has one project: the Centre for Genomic Editing and Recording (“CGER”), a collaboration between the Doudna, Joung, Liu and Weissman laboratories which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. CGER aims to build on CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering to expand the ability to detect, alter and record the sequence and output of the genome in individual cells and tissues.
Further resources: Jennifer Doudna, Popular Timelines
Doudna and the World Economic Forum
The Malone Institute, in collaboration with the Pharos Foundation and Pharos Media Productions in Sweden, has invested months and hundreds of labour hours to mine existing and historic publicly available data sources to develop a detailed summary of graduates from two WEF training programs; Global Leaders of Tomorrow (a one-year program that ran from 1993 to 2003) and Young Global Leaders (a five-year program started 2004/2005 and still running).
Doudna is not included in Dr. Malone’s database but, interestingly, her seemingly arch rival Feng Zhang, a core member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, enrolled as a Young Global Leader (“YGL”) in 2017. Even more interesting is that in their announcement of the class of 2017, WEF described Luhan Yang, chief scientist at eGenesis Biosciences, and Zhang as co-inventors of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tool – not Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Although Doudna was not YGL schooled, a search on WEF’s website shows that she became active on WEF’s site from January 2015. The first mention of her seems to be her participation in a Davos 2015 session titled ‘Rewriting Human Genes’.
As an aside: You’ll note in the image above that one of Mammoth’s investors is 8VC whose founders are Drew Oetting and Joe Lonsdale.
8VC is a venture capital firm that is also one of the main investors in Resilience, the company that will be manufacturing the new version of Spikevax – Bivalent Spikevax – on behalf of Moderna. Oetting also sits on the board of Resilience and Lonsdale is the co-founder of Palantir, a CIA front company and intelligence contractor.
The founder of Moderna, Derrick Rossi, is also one of the founding members of Intellia Therapeutics as is Doudna. Rossi teamed up with Harvard’s George Church, who together with Zhang challenged Doudna’s claim to being the “inventor” of the CRISPR/Cas system. And Moderna is a WEF “associate” partner which has strategic agreements with AstraZeneca and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.
In February 2015, Doudna introduced WEF to her technology that “is revolutionising biology and offers the potential to cure human genetic disease.”
“Imagine that we had a tool whereby we could actually fix individual mutations in DNA, much like you would do with a word processor to cut and paste and edit text. What if we had a text editor for DNA in cells? It turns out that now we do,” she told the audience.
For all the claims Doudna made that her research is to find treatment for genetic diseases, WEF had different ideas. On 13 November 2015, Charlie Rose published a video interview with Schwab who said:
“You see the difference of this fourth industrial revolution is it doesn’t change what you are doing. It changes you, if you take genetic editing, just as an example. It’s you who are changing. And of course, this has a big impact on your identity.”
While on stage at Davos 2016 – with Klaus Schwab visibly titillated in anticipation of what she would say next – although still proclaiming that CRISPR should be used for the treatment of diseases caused by genetic mutations, Doudna said:
“I’m talking about being able to remove certain genes or mutations from the entire human species. [timestamp 08:09]
“We have the technology to [change genes that influence human behaviour], we just don’t have the knowledge to do it. We just don’t know enough about the human genome and the interaction of genes yet to be able to do it. [timestamp 26:50]