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Gregory  Stock

Gregory Stock

Human Genetics & Evolution Expert

Biography

Dr. Gregory Stock, a biotech entrepreneur, bioethicist, best-selling author and public communicator is a leading authority on the broad impacts of genomic and other advanced technologies in the life sciences. Dr. Stock believes we are at a defining moment in human evolution. A thousand years from now our descendants will point to this time, with its critical breakthroughs in computers, genetics and space travel, as one of the key transitions in the long history of life. Read More >

He founded the influential Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine in 1997 and served as its director for ten years while leading a broad effort to explore critical technologies poised to impact humanity’s future and reshape medical science and healthcare. Through a series of high-profile symposia, lectures and media appearances, Dr. Stock has catalyzed broad public debate about the social and public policy implications of today’s revolution in molecular genetics and bioinformatics, and about how most effectively to translate progress in basic science into improved therapeutics and healthcare.

Dr. Stock is a longtime advocate for aggressive biomedical research funding and cautious regulatory policy. In 2003, he co-founded Signum Biosciences, a Princeton University spinoff created to develop a new class of anti-inflammatory signal-transduction molecules to combat neurodegeneration. He served as the CEO of Signum for 7 years, directing efforts to develop a therapeutic for Alzheimer’s and related anti-inflammatory cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals. In 2010, he co-founded Ecoeos, a personalized-health company that developed the first genetic test for susceptibility to mercury toxicity. Dr. Stock served as CEO and CSO of Ecoeos until 2014.

Dr. Stock has been an invited speaker to many academic, government and business conferences. He sits on the editorial boards of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, and Rejuvenation Research. Dr. Stock has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, MIT Tech Review and Lancet. He makes regular appearances on television and radio, including CNN, PBS, NPR, Bloomberg, and the BBC and has been in dozens of one-on-one healthcare and policy debates with Francis Fukuyama, Jeremy Rifkin, Leon Kass, Daniel Callahan, Ray Kurzweil, Bill McKibben, George Annas and other prominent figures.

Dr. Stock’s book, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future with Houghton Mifflin won the Kistler Book Prize for Science books and was nominated for a Wired Rave Award. Among his other books are Engineering The Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children with Oxford University Press, Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism with Simon & Schuster, and his best seller, The Book of Questions with Workman Press, which has sold 2 1/2 million copies and been translated into 18 languages. It is now in its 77th printing. Sequels to that book include The Book of Questions: Business, Politics, and Ethics, The Book of Questions: Love and Sex, and The Kids’ Book of Questions. Stock is now working on a new book, On the Cusp: The Future of Healthcare and Medicine, to examine the disruptive, technology-driven transformation of Medicine that is rapidly approaching.

Dr. Stock serves on the California Advisory Committee on Stem Cells and Reproductive Cloning. He also serves on the boards of Signum Biosciences, Nutralogix, and Napo Pharmaceuticals, a private pharmaceutical company with a fast-tracked drug for diarrhea associated with HIV retroviral therapy. He has a doctorate in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Gregory Stock is uniquely qualified to answer the questions inherent in these times of great transition and discovery. From designer babies to the retardation of aging, he speaks and writes about the complex issues of science, ethics and human behavior in an understandable way, acknowledging our interest and deep concerns about the implications of these new discoveries now and in the future. His candor is refreshing, his passion for science inspiring, his insights enriching. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

From Pharmacogenetics to Genetic Design: The Human Genome Project and Humanity's Future

The Human Genome Project is opening a new era in human history. Dr. Stock not only explores the profound economic and social implications of our deciphering of human biology, he uses concrete detail to drive home how it will alter our lives. Stock looks at how genetic testing using DNA-chips will affect the Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries. Read More >

He discusses how Genomics and the Internet will interact to bring a revolution in medicine. He explores the coming possibilities of genetic engineering, designer children, and human artificial chromosomes. Stock is a pragmatist when it comes to managing these emerging possibilities, arguing that a free market is the best way of reaping their benefits. His vision is refreshingly optimistic, yet backed by solid analysis. You will come away with a better understanding both of today’s world and of your own good fortune to be living in these extraordinary times.

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From Darwin to Destiny: The Future of Human Evolution

Dr. Stock offers a convincing rebuttal to those who fear we are hurtling towards some deadly reckoning. Our steps into space, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet, and our unraveling of biology are all facets of the planetary beehive of concrete and fiber optics we are creating. Read More >

Humanity is not in peril; it is carrying life into an evolutionary transition as profound as that 700 million years ago when multicellular organisms first arose. Stock will bring you a textured look of coming changes that are so immense that they will force us to examine even what it means to be human. He shows how the Human Genome Project is a key step towards taking control of our own evolution and how progress in molecular genetics will lead to so much more than cures for diseases. Such technology may well enable us to transform our own selves. DNA chips, designer children, human artificial chromosomes, the potential for extended human lifespan, the gradual merging of human and machine: Stock weaves them all into an inspiring and compelling image of our future without ever losing sight of the real world and the immediate challenges we face. This blend of science, evolutionary thinking, cultural extrapolation, and vision will forever transform your view of the world and your place in it. Read Less ^

From Human Brain to Global Consciousness -- The Melding of Human and Machine

We stand at a defining moment not only in human history, but in the history of life. It’s a big claim, but Dr. Stock not only will convince you of it, he will bring you a new perspective on the challenges now buffeting us. His presentation is a provocative blend of analysis of the world of today and extrapolation into the dizzying, yet not-too-distant future. Read More >

He looks at the immense implications of the human genome project, showing how it will transform medicine, human reproduction, and eventually humanity itself. He discusses the implications of machine intelligence and the rapidly spreading Internet. He shows why global culture and economic integration are a robust, positive development that is virtually inevitable. He provides an optimistic, hopeful look towards an amazing future. This talk will leave you with a new perspective on the problems we face, and a sense of wonder about where we are heading and how soon we may get there.

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Enhancing the Human: Genomics, Science Fiction and Ethics Collide

It is one thing to say that we are “reading the book of life,” quite another to seriously examine what our growing ability to manipulate human biology might mean for us and our children. Dr. Stock focuses upon the realistic possibilities for human genetic manipulation, and how these technologies will combine with increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical interventions and ever more comprehensive and affordable genetic tests. If you want to understand the possibilities and the dangers of “designer children,” if you want to think through the medical, social, and ethical implications of these powerful technologies  -- this is the talk for you.

Enhanced Humans vs. Conscious Machines: The Battle for Humanity's Future

Here, Dr. Stock covers some of the same terrain as in his Darwin to Destiny presentation, but he faces the most critical question about the human future:  Will the underlying substrate of life – in at least its most complex manifestation -- remain biological or will biology be transcended by the rapid evolution of silicon and its related technologies?

The Internet Meets Genomics: The Coming Medical and Healthcare Revolution

Dr. Stock touches many of the themes he deals with in his Pharmacogenetics to Genetic Design talk, but he delves more fully into the intertwinings of computer technology, biology, and medicine. He looks not only at the dependence of our progress in genomics on computational power, but at how communications technologies will alter the relationship between patient and physician, the delivery of preventive medicine, and the very nature of medical.

Biotechnology, Bio-Terrorism and the Human Future

The attack on the World Trade Center not only brought shock and grief, it shifted our visions of ourselves and our futures. No longer do we feel so protected from chaos elsewhere in the world; no longer do bright promises of technology seem so certain. Read More >

An airliner blowing up in midair once seemed the apex of terrorism. Now we might feel relief that the tragedy was no worse. In the future, bio-terrorism could make even our recent catastrophe seem tame, killing not thousands, but hundreds of thousands. Sadly, we can no longer afford to dismiss such possibilities.

Today’s revolution in genetics and biotechnology offers enormous promise – improved medicines, easier diagnoses, better care. We might even learn to retard the underlying process of aging itself or to choose our children’s genes. Such developments are firmly on the side of life, but the unraveling of biology also has a dark side – the weaponization of smallpox, plague and other infectious diseases that once sickened and killed millions. Advances in medicine and public health had nearly vanquished many of these foes, but if zealots ally themselves with these natural enemies of human life – strengthening and spreading these deadly agents – the consequences could be catastrophic.

In this talk, Dr. Stock explores the dangers of biological terrorism, looks at how our research priorities and public policies must shift to blunt them, discusses the role that genomic technology will play in this effort, and suggests what individuals may do to help. Read Less ^