Permanent Senate Commission on Genetic Research

The Permanent Senate Commission on Genetic Research is a DFG expert committee. It sees itself as an advisory body to the academic community as well as to policymakers, authorities and the public at large on current issues in genetic research including genetic engineering and its applications. One of the Commission’s main responsibilities is active public relations work.

Among the plethora of pending problems, the Commission prioritises those fields where work on research policy is required, where there are deficits in debate and where developments in genetic research come to the fore that raise scientific, ethical, legal and social questions.

Current topics include the following:

  • Reducing Bureaucracy in Genetic Engineering Activities
  • Genome editing technologies in plant breeding
  • Human genome editing (germline editing, somatic gene therapy)
  • Dealing with highly pathogenic organisms and toxins (Dual Use Research of Concern)
  • Stem cell research and organoids
  • Human-animal chimeras
  • Synthetic biology


Recommendations on Reducing Bureaucracy and Harmonising the Implementation of Genetic Engineering Legislation in Relation to Genetic Engineering Activities at Safety Level S1

In support of a timely and state-of-the-art regulation of the products of new breeding techniques as a contri-bution to tackling multiple crises in the 21st century

Recommendations and opinions

The Senate Commission raises awareness among the academic community of the need for conscientious action at the interface between academic freedom and academic responsibility, advocating open social and political discourse. To this end, it publishes recommendations and statements:

Towards a scientifically justified, differentiated regulation of genome edited plants in the EU  

- To the statement 
  (Oct. 2023 - in German only)
- To the statement 
  (July 2023)
- To the positioning 
  (Jan. 2023)
- To the statement 
  (Dec. 2019)

Further recommendations and statements


The members of the Senate Commission are academics from various disciplines within the life sciences and medicine as well as the fields of ethics and law. The permanent guests represent various other academic organisations in Germany.

Further Information


Mailbox Senate Commission on Genetic Research


Dr. Ingrid Ohlert
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2258
Dr. Katarina Timofeev
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2591