Nicoletta Sacchi on Dangers of Genome Research
  Nicoletta Sacchi     Biography    
Recorded: 08 Jun 2004

No, to be honest with you I don’t think so. And always again we were discussing yesterday the same as far as the epigenome. There is no danger in science; it’s the way we utilize science. I don’t really think that, these are… how to say… science fiction. That we can create human beings. Yes, potentially we might do so, but already in this meeting we realized how manipulating eggs and sperm or zygotes can create so many problems. So I don’t really believe we can misuse the genome or the eipigenome science or by …, or any science. I mean in theory, yes, this is possible. But I think always that we are for the best and not for the worst. So I’m very optimistic perhaps but I don’t think we are going to have any bad side effects from science and this should not harm science. And we should probably reassure also the people that this is never going to happen. Because many scientists will pop up and say "No we don’t have to do that." So science we control if there will be "the evil one", they will control them.

Nicoletta Sacchi, Ph.D., is a Professor and Distinguished Member of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York where she has been focusing on gene regulation in cancer cells since 2003. Native to Milan, Italy, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Milan in 1972, followed by postdoctoral work at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, at the Roche Institute of Immunology in Basel under Nobelist Georges Köhler.

In 1982 she came to the United States to continue her postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute. She returned to Italy in 1991 to become an Associate Professor at the University of Milan, until 1997 when she decided to make the US her home. That year she became a Visiting Scientist at Johns Hopkins University.

In 2002 Dr. Sacchi, was named the most cited women scientist and the 18th most cited scientist worldwide That year she received recognition for having the most quoted paper over the 20 year period from 1983 to 2002, "Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate phenol chloroform extraction" Analytical Biochemistry 162(1):156-9,1987, which she co-wrote with Piotr Chomczynski.. This article has been cited over 56,000 times as of January, 2008.

Dr. Sacchi has been awarded the EMBO Award (1974 and 1981), the Soroptimist International Award (1976), AIRC Award (1984), the Gianina Gaslini Medal (1989), and the BIOTEC Award (1989.)