Gili Greenbaum (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), Jaehee Kim (Cornell University, USA)
The emergence of gene drives – engineered genetic constructs that violate Mendelian inheritance – has generated much excitement for its potential application in suppression of disease vectors and invasive species, but it has also raised serious concerns of resistance evolution and spillover to non-target populations or species. Due to the risks involved in gene drive technology, gene drives have yet to be tested in the field. Consequently, mathematical models are the primary approach in which the behaviors of gene drives are currently studied. Building on earlier modeling work of segregation distortion and meiotic drives, divers modeling approaches have been developed in recent years aimed at investigating dynamics of gene drives, under different conditions and from various perspectives. In this mini-symposium, we will explore the history and the current state of mathematical gene drive models. In this pivotal moment, as gene drive technology nears the point of transition from the lab to the field, we will consider how novel modeling perspectives can shed light on key aspects of gene drive dynamics, and how gene drive deployment can be made safer and more efficient.