Every parent wishes for a healthy, strong, beautiful child. If medical intervention can genetically design babies—or, adults for that matter—by what measures do we define beauty, health, and strength? In the third edition of Existential Medicine, we dive into the science behind genetic editing and the morality of altering human DNA in the era of CRISPR.


  • Janna Levin, Tow Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University and renowned researcher on black holes and spacetime.


  • Samuel H. Sternberg, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, researching RNA-guided bacterial immune systems (CRISPR-Cas) and the development of these systems for genome engineering.
  • Michal Preminger, Ph.D., MBA is the Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, East North America, responsible for building, advancing, and managing the J&J External R&D portfolio of co-investments across pharmaceutical, consumer health, and medical devices.
  • Ali H. Brivanlou, Ph.D. is the Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor and Head of the Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Embryology Lab at The Rockefeller University, deciphering the molecular networks and cellular interactions underlying cell fate determination during early human embryogenesis.