President-elect Joe Biden has named a thirteen-member advisory board to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. The Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board will include Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Osterholm founded CIDRAP in 2001 and is an international authority on emerging infectious diseases. CIDRAP has been a longtime member center of the Consortium on Law and Values. Read the Biden-Harris transition announcement of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board here.
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Planning Grant Program helps support the creation of interdisciplinary faculty research teams or research partnerships between the community and the University. Funding is meant to support the preparation and submission of grant proposals for the 2021 HFHL funding cycle or equivalent University, government or private sources. Proposals must be relevant to at least one of three categories: food protection (safety); prevention of obesity and diet-related disease; or food security. Proposals are due Wednesday, November 18th and awards will be announced Friday, December 18. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is a Consortium member. Download the planning RFP here.
A new study finds that the US public is ready to accept human-animal chimera research. Although the National Institutes of Health placed a moratorium on funding this research in 2015, Japan lifted its ban last year. This new article reports on a survey of US public attitudes on chimera research, led by Drs. Andrew Crane, Francis Shen, and senior author Walter Low at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Shen is Professor of Law and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Consortium. Prof. Low is Associate Head for Research in the Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Crane is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Low’s lab. According to the study, 59% of respondents would accept a process for creating human tissue in a pig’s body, then transplanting that tissue to a human. Supporters include respondents who self-describe as religious or conservative. The study was published in the October 2020 issue of Stem Cell Reports.
The University of Minnesota is conducting clinical trials for an innovative treatment that utilizes CRISPR technology to combat metastatic gastrointestinal epithelial cancer. The treatment is based on research conducted by Branden Moriarity, PhD, Beau Webber, PhD, and R. Scott McIvor, PhD, of the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Researchers will use a small piece of a patient’s tumor to create gene-edited white blood cells that may be effective in combating the patient’s cancer. The Masonic Cancer Center is a Consortium member center. Read more on the Masonic Cancer Center website.
Professor Damien Fair, Redleaf Endowed Director at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain, has been selected for a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Prof. Fair also has faculty appointments with the Institute of Child Development and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. His research has advanced understanding of brain connectivity during development, and his work with atypical brain connectivity may eventually lead to more personalized treatment for common brain disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Prof. Fair is a member of the working group for “Highly Portable and Cloud-Enabled Neuroimaging Research: Confronting Ethics Challenges in Field Research with New Populations,” a Consortium-based project that is supported by a $1.5 million NIH grant. Read more about Prof. Fair and his work on the MacArthur Foundation website.
The Center for Bioethics will host “The Ethics of Underfunding: Changing the Narrative about Native American Health Care,” a webinar featuring Dr. Mary Owen, Director of the Center of American Indian & Minority Health; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine & Behavioral Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth. The lecture will be held on Friday, October 9 from 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Dr. Owen will discuss the Trust Doctrine and U.S. government’s obligation to provide health care to Native Americans as well as the history and structure of the Indian Health Service. She will also focus on the long-term effects of chronic underfunding on the Indian Health Service and the impact of COVID-19 on Native American populations nationally and locally. This event is part of the Center for Bioethics 2020 Ethics Grand Rounds series. Find more information and register on the Center for Bioethics website.