News & Events


Prof. Fernandez Lynch

Prof. Holly Fernandez Lynch on COVID-19 Vaccine Trials and Transparency

September 18, 2020

In an article featured on STAT, Professor Holly Fernandez Lynch comments on transparency and trust related to ongoing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials. Prof. Lynch will be a featured panelist for “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” the second of the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment webinar series. The webinar takes place Friday, October 16 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central time. Register now to attend.

Covid 19 dashboard

Former FDA Commissioners Califf and Hamburg on Political Pressure & Vaccines

September 11, 2020

In a recent CNN story, two former Commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration offer their perspectives on how political pressure could affect the release of a COVID-19 vaccine. Both also feature in the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment” webinar series. Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner from 2016-17, will take part in “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” on Friday, October 16. Register now to attend. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who served as FDA Commissioner for six years, was featured in “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” as well as a follow-up Q&A session. Video for the webinar and follow-up session is available.   


COVID-19 Vaccine Trial to be Conducted in Minnesota

September 3, 2020

HealthPartners has announced that it is recruiting 1,500 Minnesota adults to participate in a Phase 3 study of a vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca. A Star Tribune article details the goals of the vaccine study, how the proposed vaccine is supposed to work, and how a vaccine may be distributed once it is approved. The article includes insights provided in the Consortium’s recent “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety” webinar. Dr. Margaret Hamburg warns that political interference may “undermine confidence and trust, while Dr. Nicole Lurie explains that continued vaccine development and improvement will likely continue even after a vaccine becomes availableRead the full Star Tribune article here


Dr. Margaret Hamburg Comments on Convalescent Plasma and COVID-19

August 25, 2020

In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr. Margaret Hamburg discussed the FDA approval of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. Dr. Hamburg was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration for six years and recently retired as foreign secretary for the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hamburg will appear with other experts for “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” this Friday, August 28. Register now to attend.

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New $1.5 Million NIH Grant to Produce Guidance for Highly-Portable MRI in Brain Research

August 12, 2020

A new grant from the Neuroethics Division of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will bring together national experts in neuroethics, neurolaw, and neuroscience to produce ethics recommendations for the use of breakthrough Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that is highly portable and cloud-enabled. This new technology will allow neuroimaging research in underrepresented populations and diverse field settings. This 4-year project based at the Consortium on Law and Values will use empirical and analytic methods to devise guidance on ethical challenges including informed consent, data privacy, and return of results. The project’s principal investigators are Profs. Francis Shen, JD, PhD; Susan M. Wolf, JD; and Frances Lawrenz, PhD. Read more: Highly Portable and Cloud-Enabled Neuroimaging Research: Confronting Ethics Challenges in Field Research with New Populations.

ATP-Bio logo

$26 Million NSF Grant to Establish New Engineering Research Center: ATP-Bio

August 4, 2020

The University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine has received a new $26 million National Science Foundation grant to establish a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio). ATP-Bio research projects will put ethics and public policy at the forefront by conducting and publishing ethical analyses, augmenting standard review, and engaging policy leaders to anticipate and consider the impacts of ATP-Bio research. Professor Susan Wolf, chair of the U’s Consortium on Law and Values, will lead the Ethics & Public Policy component of ATP-Bio; she will also serve on the ATP-Bio Executive Committee. She will work with faculty at the University of Minnesota and the cooperating ATP-Bio institutions (Massachusetts General Hospital, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley) as well as an Ethics Advisory Panel. Read more here