GES public Lecture Series

Tales from the Biotech Trenches

Special Guest: Larisa Rudenko, PhD DABT

Visiting Scholar, Program on Emerging Technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

FREE Event | Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 5:30 – 7:00 PM
IEI Lecture Hall, Room 4106, James B. Hunt, Jr. Library


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Lecture Description

Unfortunately, Larisa was unable to send us her abstract before the federal government shutdown. She wrote to us saying that even though she is a visiting scholar with MIT, she is still technically a federal government employee and cannot do any work while the government is shutdown.

In any event, we are still moving forward in the hopes that the shutdown will resolve this week.

What kinds of tales might we hear about?

  • Navigating the uncharted policy terrain around products of biotechnology, both nationally and internationally.
  • Developing regulatory strategy for the first food from a genetically engineered plant – the now infamous Flavr Savr Tomato [imagine photo of tomato filled with giant syringes]
  • The process of approving AquaBounty Salmon – the first GE animal intended for food use
  • Dealing with government shutdowns? We’ll find out!

Note that Dr. Rudenko will also be speaking at the GES Colloquium earlier the same day. 

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About | Dr. Larisa Rudenko

Larisa Rudenko is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Program on Emerging Technology at MIT where she is studying science-and values-based concerns associated with emerging biotechnologies. She has served as the Senior Advisor for Biotechnology at the Center for Veterinary Medicine where she led the agency initiative to develop novel risk-based approaches and resulting policies for the products of animal biotechnology. She directed the program to develop a science-based policy for the the regulation of genetically engineered (GE) animals, and created and directed a new FDA administrative unit for the implementation of that program. She has been instrumental in developing science-based policies for the regulation of the products of biotechnology nationally and internationally. She has worked in different venues to develop paradigms to assess the risk/safety for genetic alterations in multiple systems from microorganisms to plants and animals (including humans).

Dr. Rudenko’s “firsts” include:

  • Developing a regulatory strategy for the first food from a genetically engineered plant
  • Producing the first comprehensive assessment of the safety/risk of animal health and foods from animal clones
  • Overseeing the first guidance for the regulation of GE animals
  • Implementing that guidance by overseeing the processes for the first approval relevant to a genetically engineered biopharm animal
  • The first approval relevant to a GE animal intended for food use, and
  • The first American to serve on a European Food Safety Authority panel.

Dr. Rudenko has worked on developing seminal international policies for the risk assessment of various types of genetic alterations and assisted reproductive technology; she is internationally recognized for successful leadership and collegial collaboration in developing coordinated strategies and harmonized consensus documents. She has served as a judge and safety advisor to the iGEMs competitions.

Prior to her tenure at FDA, Dr. Rudenko worked in the consultancy and venture capital fields. She received her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Stony Brook University after completing her doctoral work in DNA damage and repair at the Brookhaven National Laboratory; she is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

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Registration is not required, however it does help us plan accordingly, as well as enable us to contact you should there be changes to this event. Please direct any questions to Sharon Stauffer at

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Directions & Parking

James B. Hunt Jr. Library

Parking is free and open to the public after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and throughout the weekend in the Poulton Paylot across the street from the first floor entrance to the Hunt Library.  Additional parking is available in the Oval West Deck, also just a 2 minute walk from the Library.

click to enlarge map

Building Guide

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library is located on Centennial Campus. From the first floor entrance of the library, take the elevator to the 4th floor, to the Institute for Emerging Issues. Walk towards the right, then left down to the IEI Lecture Hall, Room 4106.

IEI Lecture Hall , Room 4106, Hunt Library

Click to enlarge building guide.


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