Gregory Stock

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Gregory Stock

Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, best-selling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine. He has written extensively on the implications for society, medicine and business of the human genome project and associated developments in molecular genetics and bioinformatics. His interests lie in the scientific and evolutionary as well as ethical, social and political implications of today's revolutions in the life sciences and in information technology and computers. He has dealt with topics relating to privacy issues in healthcare and genomics; advances in reproductive biology and embryo screening; future possibilities in human germline engineering and anti-aging interventions; and scenarios of future human evolution. Stock’s speeches, writings and positions reflect a vision of pragmatism if not enthusiasm about adapting to the profound and difficult shifts these new technologies will bring and avoiding unnecessary delay in the development of new therapeutics and medical and biological interventions emerging from progress in the life sciences.

Stock also is the CEO of Signum Biosciences, a biotech company developing therapeutics for Alzheimer’s and other diseases as well as health and wellness agents. He sits on the editorial board of the American Journal of Bioethics and is in the department of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Napo Pharmaceuticals,a publicly traded pharmaceutical company headquartered in San Francisco. He sits on the California Advisory Committee on Stem Cells and Reproductive Cloning and serves as the associate director for the Bioagenda Institute and the Center for Life Science Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Stock has been an invited speaker to many academic, government and business conferences. He makes regular appearances on television and radio, and has appeared on CNN, PBS, NPR and the BBC in shows including Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, Oprah Winfrey, Biotech Nation and Larry King.

Public Policy

Stock was an early force in considering the implications of human germline engineering and human enhancement. Through the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society, which he founded at the UCLA School of Medicine, he organized an influential 1998 conference at UCLA: "Engineering the Human Germline," which included a panel of James Watson, French Anderson, Lee Hood and other major figures in the life sciences. The event, which attracted considerable media attention and opened up broad debate on what was then a largely tabboo topic, was covered on the front page of the New York Times. Through another seminal UCLA conference, Milestones on Aging, he organized, Stock helped legitimize research to significantly extend human longevity. The event led to a follow conference he co-hosted at Berkeley with Bruce Ames and Aubrey de Grey, who went on to found the Methuselah Foundation, an organization that has aggressively promoted research on life extension. The activity of the MTS Program was also critical in establishing UCLA’s Center on Society and Genetics, which actively explores broad policy issues in the genomics arena. Stock is now primarily engaged in the development of new therapeutics at Signum Biosciences, a biotech company he co-founded in 2004, but he remains active in the policy arena through UCLA's MTS Program, which he still directs, and the BioAgenda Institute, which he is the associate director of, and through various public appearances and debates.

Stock has presented diverse keynotes ranging from “The Coming Era of Personalized Medicine” at Medco, “Trends in Health, Science and Nutrition” at the American Dietetic Association, "The Future of Genomics and Healthcare" at Johnson and Johnson, "The Coming Healthcare Revolution" at HIMS (Healthcare Information Management Society) and "The Evolution of the Biotech Revolution" at Applied Biosystems to "21st Century Opportunities and Challenges" at the World Future Society, "Beauty, Health and Biotech: A Look Ahead" at Fashion Group International, "Redesigning Humans: Best Hope, Worst Fear" at the TED (Technology, Education and Design) Conference, and "From Pharmacogenomics to Genetic Design" at the World Transhumanist Society.

He has also been involved with broadcast media through guest appearances on shows such as the PBS documentary "Religion and Ethics: The Challenge and Ethics of Strong Biotechnology," debates on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Charlie Rose, via an online multimedia documentary he produced with funding from the Greenwall and Sloan Foundations entitled "Human Germline Engineering: Implications for Science and Society"(, and in an ARTE documentary examining key figures in Biotechnology.

Stock has always been a strong advocate for the aggressive implementation of new technology in the life sciences and he has publicly debated many leading figures in the bioethics community, including Francis Fukuyama, Jeremy Rifkin, Leon Kass,George Annas,Dan Callahan,Bill McKibben, Michael Sandel, William Hurlbut and Nigel Cameron. In these appearances, he has consistently argued against restrictions on life science research including funding bans on stem cell research, moratoriums on cloning, overly protective pharmaceutical regulatory controls, and efforts to constrain anti-aging research.


He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1987, where he was a Baker Scholar and won the Freund-Porter Entrepreneurship award. Stock completed a doctorate in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University in 1977, where he received a BS and MS in 1971.

Published Books

Dr. Stock has written well-regarded works on the impact and significance of recent advances in technology and the life sciences, and several bestsellers on values and ethics. His Book of Questions series, which consists of four eclectic collections of provocative situational dilemmas, was designed to generate discussion and thought about value-laden issues. The series has sold more than three million copies in total, been translated into 17 languages, and spawned a host of imitations. The original Book of Questions was number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller's list for 8 weeks.

His books on technology, public policy and future human evolution are:

  • Metaman:The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism.(1993).
  • Engineering the Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children (2000, Oxford University Press) (Co-editor with John Campbell).
  • Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future (2002)

Redesigning humans won the Kistler Award for science writing. Stock has also written numerous articles and papers on these topics.

Selected Public Appearances


  • Civil Liberties Research Centre, Opening Keynote: Genomics and our Rights, Alberta,Canada. (November)
  • Joint Investment Conference, Genomics and the Human Future. Marrakech,Morocco. (September)
  • PBS, Religion and Ethics: The Challenge and Ethics of Strong Biotechnology. (July)
  • World Future Society, Opening Keynote: New Approaches to Healthcare, Minneapolis.(July)
  • Contract Magazine, Design and Life: A dialogue with architect Lauren Rottet, New York (July)
  • BioAgenda East Great Debate with Nigel Cameron: Should Human Germline Engineering be Banned? Washington DC (June)
  • Therapeutic Insights, Industry Panel: Dermatology Enigma: Exploring the Disconnect between Unmet Needs and Pharma Investment, New York, New York. (April)
  • Keck Graduate Institute, Biotechnology and Human Rights, The Rights of Redesigned Humans, Claremont, CA. (April)
  • Fashion Group International, Luncheon Panel, Beauty, Health and Biotech: A look Ahead, New York, (April)
  • Women’s Technology Council, The Ethics of Human Enhancement, San Francisco, CA. (March)
  • Wheaton College, Genomics, Science Fiction and Ethics Collide, Boston. (March)
  • The Ethics of Life Extension: A debate with Daniel Callahan, Canada (March).


  • American Dietetic Assoc, Opening Keynote: Trends in Health, Science and Nutrition, Honolulu. (Sept)
  • Medco, Keynote: The Era of Personalized Medicine, Orlando. (May)
  • University of Spokane, Biotech Hopes and Fears, Spokane, Washington. (April)
  • Applied Biosystems, The Evolution of the Biotech Revolution, Chicago. (April)
  • Auburn Univ, Genomic Medical Possibilities and Ethical Constraints, Atlanta. (April)
  • Forest Technology Group, Regenerative Medicine: A Look Ahead, Pittsburg. (April)
  • Presbyterian College, The Effects of Media on Medical R&D, Clinton, SC. (March)
  • BioAgenda Institute, Panel: Chimeras and Synthetic Life, Palm Springs. (March)
  • UCLA, Genomics and the Human Future, Los Angeles. (March)


  • Ernst and Young – From AI to Global Brain, the Merging of Human and Machine, Las Vegas, Nevada. (December)
  • Foundation for the Future, The Challenges of the Next Millennium, Seattle.(October)
  • NPR, Genetics and the Future of Medicine, Warren Olney, To The Point.(August)
  • Princeton Democratic Club – The Politics of Stem Cell Research, Princeton. (August)
  • World Transhumanist Society, From Pharmacogenomics to Genetic Design: A look ahead. Keynote, Annual Conference, Caracas, Venezuela. (July)
  • Festival dei due Mondi; Spoletoscienza: Biotechnology and the Human Future,sponsored by Sigma Tau, Spoleto, Italy. (June)
  • Price Waterhouse Cooper Showcase, A New Path Towards Therapeutic and Pharmaceutical Development – Signum Biosciences, New York. (May)
  • FTI Annual Convention, Biotechnology and the Human Future, Steamboat, Colorado.(other keynote given by George Bush.Sr)(March)
  • UCLA School of Medicine, Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Agriculture, and Law. Guest lecture, Los Angeles. (February)


  • BioAgenda Institute: Coming Biotech Challenges, Palm Springs. (December)
  • Center for Public Policy – Germline Research Policy Options, Washington DC. (December)
  • Princeton University, Stem Cell Research Distinguished Panel: Science, Ethics,and the Human Future, Princeton. (November)
  • Economist Pharma Conference: The Future of the Pharmaceutical Environment.Keynote, From Darwin to Destiny. Athens, Greece. (November)
  • Royal Society of London. A Look at Our Reproductive Future, London. (October)
  • TEDMED – Afflicted by the FDA: A Look Towards the Future of Pharmaceutical Regulation and Healthcare, Charleston. (October)
  • NPR: To The Point with Warren Olney, “Human Error and Technology.” (June)
  • Harvard Medical School, Genetics and Society: The Challenges Ahead, Cambridge (June)
  • Harvard Business School. The Economic Impacts of Biotechnology, Cambridge. (June)
  • GlaxoSmithKline. Keynote: Risk Assessment and Genomics. Wilmington. (May)
  • UC Irvine, Schneiderman Distinguished Lecture, From Regenerative Medicine to Genetic Design, Irvine (May)
  • NPR: Connections. Point Counterpoint on Human Enhancement with Michael Sandel. see (April)
  • University of Texas – LBJ Distinguished Lecture: Genetics, Biomedicine, and Healthcare, Austin. (April)
  • University of Richmond, Questions and Risk Taking, Richmond. (February)
  • University of Delaware, Biotech and Bioethics, Wilmington. (February)
  • UCLA Center for Society and Genetics: Nurturing our Nature: Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Moderator and Host, Los Angeles. (February)

Selected Articles


External links