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Gain-of-Function Research 

Gain-of-function (GOF) studies, or research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease, help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions, thereby enabling assessment of the pandemic potential of emerging infectious agents, informing public health and preparedness efforts, and furthering medical countermeasure development.

Gain-of-function studies may entail biosafety and biosecurity risks; therefore, the risks and benefits of gain-of function research must be evaluated, both in the context of recent U.S. biosafety incidents and to keep pace with new technological developments, in order to determine which types of studies should go forward and under what conditions.

This page last reviewed: March 06, 2019

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