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!
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.