The seventh annual Biotech Roundtable, held in conjunction with the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Annual Board Meeting, will be hosted this year by the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. This meeting will highlight opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, both scientifically and legally, for innovation in agricultural biotechnology when using genetic editing tools, such as CRISPR, TALENs and ODM. 

The morning session will host scientists as they discuss the latest innovations and challenges found in funding, staffing and other related issues that arise in the launch of products using an innovative technology. Following the lunchtime keynote, legal counsel will report on the latest twists in global regulatory approaches, Syngenta's pending class action suit regarding the U.S. disruption of corn exports to China, and the patentability and litigation over ownership of genetic editing tools. 

5.75 North Carolina CLE credits for attending attorneys.


Registration (8 - 8:30 a.m.)

Networking and Coffee

Morning Session (8:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.)

  • Welcome
    Paul Ulanch, PH.D., executive director, Crop Commercialization Program, NCBiotech

  • Genome Editing Revolution: CRISPR Technology, Applications and Opportunities (video)
    Rodolphe Barangou, Ph.D., associate professor, food science, NC State University

  • Industry Utilization, Waxy Corn and More
    Wendy Srnic, Ph.D., research director, maize product development, DuPont Pioneer

  • Seeds Stewardship Programs and Relevance to Gene Editing
    Santosh Kumar, M.S., global stewardship manager, Bayer

Break (30 minutes)

  • SU Canola: Commercial Acceptance of Genome Editing
    David Songstad, Ph.D., director, research/cell biology, Cibus

  • Regulatory Oversight and Consumer Acceptance for Gene-Edited Crops
    Greg Jaffe, JD, director, biotechnology, Center for Science in the Public Interest

  • IP Lessons Learned: Cellectis vs. Precision and other stories (panel)

    • Tom Redick, JD, attorney, Global Environmental Ethics Counsel (Moderator)

    • Logan Buck, Ph.D., associate, Womble Carlyle

    • Rachel Herder, Ph.D., JD, assistant professor clinical law, Penn State University

    • Carin Miller, Ph.D, JD, associate, Thomas Horstemeyer

Lunch Session (12:10-1:15 p.m.)

  • Transforming Agriculture Through Technological Advancements (Keynote)
    John Reich, Ph.D., scientific program director, Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research

Afternoon Session (1:30 - 5:05 p.m.)

  • Transactional Pitfalls - Global Trade Lessons
    John Therien, JD, partner, Smith Anderson

  • Global Trade - Lessons Learned from Syngenta Litigation
    Tom Redick, JD

  • Genetic Modification Labeling Laws
    Gary Marchant, Ph.D., JD, Regents' Professor of Law, University of Arizona

Break (30 minutes)

  • Revisiting the Product vs. Process Debate
    Fred Gould, Ph.D., co-director, Genetic Engineering and Society Center, N.C. State University

  • Regulatory Considerations (Panel)

    • Tom Redick, JD (moderator)

    • Michael Firko, Ph.D., APHIS deputy administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture

    • Keith Matthews, JD, counsel, Wiley Rein

    • Lisa Zannoni, R.Ph., global head, regulatory and stewardship, Syngenta Crop Protection

  • Closing Remarks
    Tom Redick, JD

Networking Reception (5:05 - 6:30 p.m.)

Sponsored by Wyrick Robbins



  • $250 General Admission
  • N/C for CAST Board Representatives