Our Speakers

Professor Paul Root Wolpe

Keynote Speaker

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair of Jewish Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Biological Behaviour, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.

Prof Wolpe served for 15 years as the first Senior Bioethicist for NASA. He is Editorin-Chief of American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, the leading journal in neuroethics, and he sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. Prof Wolpe is the Immediate Past President of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors, a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society.

Prof Wolpe publishes widely in sociology, medicine, and ethics, and has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias on ethical and bioethical issues. Trained as a social scientist – rare for an ethicist -- Prof Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of medicine and technology on the human condition. Considered one of the founders of the field of neuroethics, which examines the ethical implications of neuroscience, over the last decade he has shifted his attention to the ethics of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data. He founded BEINGS, ‘Biotechnology and the Ethical Imagination: A Global Summit,’ which brought together thought leaders from around the world to reach consensus on a set of ethical principles and policy standards for human genetic engineering. Prof Wolpe also writes and teaches in Jewish Bioethics, and co-authored the guide to Jewish end-of-life issues, Behoref Hayamim: In the Winter of Life.

Prof Wolpe sits on national and international boards, and is a consultant to the biomedical industry. He has twice testified to the President’s Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, DC. A dynamic and popular speaker internationally, he won the 2011 World Technology Network Award in Ethics, has recorded a TED Talk with over 1.5 million views, and was profiled in the November, 2011 Atlantic Magazine as a ‘Brave Thinker of 2011.’

Professor Simon Chesterman

Speaking on: Artificial Intelligence

Professor Simon Chesterman is Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. He is also Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law.

Educated in Melbourne, Beijing, Amsterdam, and Oxford, Prof Chesterman’s teaching experience includes periods at the Universities of Melbourne, Oxford, Southampton, Columbia, and Sciences Po. From 2006-2011, he was Global Professor and Director of the New York University (NYU) School of Law Singapore Programme.

Prior to joining NYU, he was a Senior Associate at the International Peace Academy and Director of United Nations (UN) Relations at the International Crisis Group in New York. He has previously worked for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yugoslavia and interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Prof Chesterman is the author or editor of seventeen books, including ‘Law and Practice of the United Nations’ (with Ian Johnstone and David M. Malone, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2016); ‘One Nation Under Surveillance’ (OUP, 2011); ‘You, The People’ (OUP, 2004); and ‘Just War or Just Peace?’ (OUP, 2001).

He is a recognised authority on international law, whose work has opened up new areas of research on conceptions of public authority - including the rules and institutions of global governance, state-building and post-conflict reconstruction, the changing role of intelligence agencies, and the emerging role of artificial intelligence and big data. He also writes on legal education and higher education more generally.

Dr Pavitra Krishnaswamy

Speaking on: Artificial Intelligence

Dr Pavitra Krishnaswamy leads R&D efforts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Healthcare applications at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.

Her research focuses on statistical machine learning and inference, interpretable machine learning, and predictive analytics for multimodal clinical data with a view to applications in clinical diagnostics and digital health. Her work has led to several publications, patent filings, and contributed new tools for medical imaging, clinical monitoring, and decision support applications.

Dr Pavitra’s training includes a postdoctoral stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, a PhD in Electrical and Medical Engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, an S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and dual B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from the University of Southern California, USA. Her graduate work was supported by the Dupont MIT Alliance Presidential Fellowship and the MIT Shilman Fellowship, and recognised with best paper awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was nominated as a Future Leader of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum in 2017, and recognised as one of three finalists for the L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science National Fellowship (2018, Physical & Engineering Science category).

Professor Peter-Paul Verbeek

Speaking on: Artificial Intelligence

Professor Peter-Paul Verbeek is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy of Technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Twente. He is the Chair of the Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations research group and Co-director of the Design Lab of the University of Twente. He is also Honorary Professor of Techno-Anthropology at Aalborg University, Denmark. His research focuses on the philosophy of human-technology relations, and aims to contribute to philosophical theory, ethical reflection, and practices of design and innovation.

Prof Verbeek is the Chairperson of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST). He is currently one of the six Principal Investigators of a 10-year research programme on the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies.

Among his book publications are ‘Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things’, in which he analyses the moral significance of technologies, and its implications for ethical theory and for design practices, and ‘What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design’, which investigates how technologies mediate human actions and experiences, with applications to industrial design.

More details can be found at his website: www.ppverbeek.nl

Associate Professor Ngiam Kee Yuan

Speaking on: Artificial Intelligence

Associate Professor Ngiam Kee Yuan is the Group Chief Technology Officer at the National University Health System (NUHS) Singapore overseeing technology deployment in the Western Healthcare Cluster of Singapore.

In his role, he assists the Chief Executive to implement new technologies throughout NUHS and serves as the Chief Advisor to the Centre for Innovation in Healthcare in NUHS.

A/Prof Ngiam is concurrently the Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer at the NUHS with a special focus on Artificial Intelligence research and information technology implementation in healthcare.

In his capacity as Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine NUS, A/Prof Ngiam engages in research on endocrine and metabolic surgery as well as Artificial Intelligence applications in healthcare.

A/Prof Ngiam promotes interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the National University of Singapore campus, particularly between the schools of medicine, engineering and computer science for various healthcare applications. He was awarded the ExxonMobil-NUS Research Fellowship for Clinicians in 2007 and numerous teaching awards for his work in research and education.

Dr. Andy Greenfield

Speaking on: Gene Editing

Dr Andy Greenfield has been a programme leader at MRC Harwell since 1996. His central research focus is the genetics of embryonic and foetal development and genetic diseases arising from abnormalities of development. His laboratory uses genome editing and other genomics tools.

Over the last decade, Dr Greenfield has also made significant contributions to regulation and policy in reproductive medicine. From 2009 to 2018, he was a member of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) and chaired its licence committee. In 2014 and 2016, he chaired two expert panel assessments of the safety and efficacy of mitochondrial donation techniques (aka ‘three-person IVF’), paving the way to their being made lawful in the UK.

He was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCoB) from 2014-2020 and chaired its 2016 working group that examined ethical issues associated with genome editing applications in a variety of contexts; he is currently a member of the NCoB working group examining genome editing and farmed animals. He was also a member of the international commission, convened by the National Academies of Sciences and the UK Royal Society, that in 2020 made recommendations on prospective uses of heritable human genome editing. He is also a member of the UK Regulatory Horizons Council.

He regularly gives talks in international settings on the topics of the science, governance and ethics of genetic technologies.

Dr. Chew Wei Leong

Speaking on: Gene Editing

Dr Chew Wei Leong is the Principal Investigator at the Genome Institute of Singapore.

His team develops technologies that make pinpoint changes to genes. His work provided the first demonstrations of multi-organ gene editing, disease gene correction with CRISPR-Cas9, and insights into the safety profile of these new nucleic acid therapeutics. He holds more than 10 patents and technology disclosures in the areas of gene editing, gene therapy, and nucleic acid technologies.

Dr Chew is the recipient of the President’s Science and Technology Awards – Young Scientist Award 2020. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Magna Cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa) from Duke University and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University with Professor George Church. While pursuing his doctoral studies, he conducted research on therapeutic genome-editing.

More information can be found on the lab website: http://chewlab.github.io

Associate Professor Lai Poh-San

Speaking on: Gene Editing

Associate Professor Lai Poh-San heads the Human Molecular Genetics Lab of the Department of Paediatrics in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS).

Her main interests are in neuromuscular disorders, congenital diseases and undiagnosed disorders. Her other interests are in behavioural genetics and exploring psychosocial, lifestyle and biological determinants related to various traits. She is an Adjunct Faculty of the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Adjunct Principal Member of Technical Staff with the Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute (DMERI), Defence Science Organisation (DSO), Singapore. She serves on a number of international consortiums, advisory committees, editorial journal boards and societies.

A/Prof Lai sits on the Institutional Review Boards for DSO and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). She is co-Chair of the Ethics of Gene Modifying Technologies Working Group under the Science, Health and Policy-relevant Ethics in Singapore (SHAPES) initiative of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, NUS. She also serves as President of the Biomedical Research and Experimental Therapeutics Society of Singapore, President Emeritus of the Asia-Pacific Society of Human Genetics, Deputy Chair of the NUS Institutional Biosafety Committee, Executive Committee member of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies (IFHGS), member of the Nominating Committee of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG). She has also previously served as Director of HUGO (Human Genome Organisation) and Co-chair of the Policy and Ethics Review Board of the HUGO – Pan Asian SNP Initiative (HUGO-PASNPI).

Professor Henry Greely

Speaking on: Gene Editing

Professor Henry T. (Hank) Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law; Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics; and Director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University. He specialises in ethical, legal, and social issues arising from the biosciences.

He is a founder and immediate past President of the International Neuroethics Society, and chairs the California Advisory Committee on Human Stem Cell Research and the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Committee of the Earth BioGenome Project. He currently serves on two National Academy of Sciences Committees, one on developing a research agenda and research governance approaches for climate intervention strategies that reflect sunlight to cool Earth and the second on ethical, legal, and regulatory issues associated with neural chimeras and organoids. He serves on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative’s Multi-Council Working Group and co-chairs the Initiative’s Neuroethics Work Group. He has published two books: ‘The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction’ (2016) and ‘CRISPR People: The Science and Ethics of Editing Humans’ (2021).

Prof Greely graduated from Stanford in 1974 and Yale Law School in 1977. He served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court. After working during the Carter Administration in the Departments of Defense and Energy, he entered private law practice in Los Angeles in 1981. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1985.

Professor Peter Braude

Speaking on: Assisted Reproduction Technology

Professor Peter Braude OBE MB PhD FRCOG FMedSci FRSB, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kings College London (KCL), was formerly Head of the Department of Women’s Health at KCL and directed the Centre for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust until 2011. He has been involved in assisted reproduction and embryo research in Cambridge and London for over 40 years.

He was a member of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) (1999– 2004), Chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) Scientific Advisory Committee (2004–2007), a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics working group that considered the ethics of Novel Techniques for the Prevention of Mitochondrial DNA Disorders and is an external advisor to the Singapore Bioethics Advisory Committee.

He served on the HFEA core panel that reviewed and reported on the scientific methods to avoid mitochondrial disease, and now chairs the RCOG Genomics Taskforce. He was awarded an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2015 for his services to Reproductive Medicine.

Associate Professor Mahesh Choolani

Speaking on: Assisted Reproduction Technology

Associate Professor Mahesh Choolani is the Head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Group Chief of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the National University Health System.

A/Prof Choolani has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, including top journals such as Nature, Blood, and The Lancet. His principal areas of research are maternal fetal medicine, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, and fetal therapy. In 2010, he delivered the prestigious Benjamin Henry Sheares Memorial Lecture in Singapore.

A/Prof Choolani is the President-Elect of the College of Clinician Scientists, and Vice-President of the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Singapore. He is also the President-Elect of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, and past President of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society.

A/Prof Choolani is a member of the Human Nuclear Genome Editing Review Group, Bioethics Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Genetic Testing Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health and a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee, National University Hospital.

Professor Glenn Cohen

Speaking on: Assisted Reproduction Technology

Professor Glenn Cohen is the James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics.

Prof Cohen is one of the world’s leading experts on the intersection of bioethics and the law, as well as health law. He also teaches civil procedure. From Seoul to Krakow to Vancouver, Prof Cohen has spoken at legal, medical, and industry conferences around the world and his work has appeared in or been covered on PBS, NPR, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Mother Jones, the New York Times, the New Republic, the Boston Globe, and several other media venues.

He was the youngest professor on the faculty at Harvard Law School (tenured or untenured) both when he joined the faculty in 2008 (at age 29) and when he was tenured as a full professor in 2013 (at age 34), though not the youngest in history.

Prof Cohen’s current projects relate to big data, health information technologies, mobile health, reproduction/reproductive technology, research ethics, organ transplantation, rationing in law and medicine, health policy, FDA law, translational medicine, and to medical tourism – the travel of patients who are residents of one country, the ‘home country’, to another country, the ‘destination country’, for medical treatment.

Associate Professor Bernadette Richards

Speaking on: Assisted Reproduction Technology

Adjunct Associate Professor Bernadette Richards, BA, LLB (Hons), PhD is an Adj. Associate Professor of Law at Queensland University of Technology, Australian Centre for Health Law Research and Adelaide University.

She is the President of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law and is a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Australian Health Ethics Committee, the Embryo Research Licensing Committee and Dietary Guidelines Governance Committee and was the Chair of the Mitochondrial Donation Expert Working Committee.

An active researcher, she has completed major projects on organ donation, consent to treatment and legal issues around innovative surgery. She is a chief investigator on three current major grants, NHMRC Partnership Grant, ‘Strategies for the inclusion of vulnerable populations in developing complex and sensitive public policy: A case study in Advance Care Planning’, NHMRC Ideas Grant, ‘The algorithm will see you now: ethical, legal and social implications of adopting machine learning systems for diagnosis and screening’ and ARC Discovery Grant, ‘Support or Sales? Medical Device Representatives in Australian Hospitals’. She is currently writing a book ‘Technology, Healthcare and the Law: An evolving relationship’ to be published in the first half of 2021 and has published over 80 journal articles, book chapters and books.