Consortium Introduction

The Consortium conducts original research, serves students and faculty, and advances public dialogue and understanding on emerging issues at the intersection of science and society.

Office closed & working remotely -- The Consortium on Law and Values, along with most of the University of Minnesota, is shifting to remote work for all staff beginning March 16. We will still be online and responding to phone and email, but may be slightly delayed in responding to messages. Thanks for your understanding and please take care of yourselves!

Latest News


Study Finds Majority of US Public Accepting of Human-Animal Chimera Research

October 27, 2020

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  

Model of crystal structure for CRISPR-Cas9

Researchers at University of Minnesota Using CRISPR Technology in Clinical Trials

October 21, 2020

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.

Prof. Damien Fair

Prof. Damien Fair Receives MacArthur Fellowship

October 12, 2020

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


Dr. Mary Owen

Center for Bioethics to Host Lecture on Native American Health Care

September 30, 2020

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.

COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment - Webinar Series

COVID-19 Resources: Ethical, Legal & Social Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing profound ethical, legal, and social challenges. The Consortium is compiling relevant resources offered by our member centers and by other organizations to help researchers, clinicians, legal professionals, students, and communities navigate these challenges. View COVID-19 resources here

Upcoming Events

Message from the Consortium Chair

Our Consortium is a large, interdisciplinary community, linked by work on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biomedicine and the life sciences. Across our community, this is a time of deep mourning and challenge. We face a global pandemic that has already taken too many lives. At the same time, we face the brutal murder of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and the entrenched structural racism it revealed. To learn that Mr. Floyd was burdened by COVID-19 in the weeks before his killing makes it dramatically clear that the COVID pandemic and racism are intertwined. The pandemic is starkly illuminating the long-standing health disparities in this country and persistent failure of health care and governing institutions to advance health equity and justice. The results of that failure are horrific.... Read full message here.

LawSeqSM Database

Use the LawSeqSM Database to search the law of genomics in the U.S. – both federal and state law. The Database also offers a Bibliography collecting relevant secondary sources. The goal of the LawSeqSM project is to map and shape the law of genomics to build a solid foundation for clinical integration. Creation of this unique resource was funded by a grant from NIH.