The University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary! CTSI accelerates the application of new scientific discoveries in clinical settings by providing funding for promising studies and offering research education and training for faculty, staff, and students. Since CTSI was established, over 345 scholars have received support for their research careers, CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation has supported over 145 innovations leading to 10 start-ups, and CTSI’s Clinical Research Support Center has supported over 2,000 studies. CTSI is part of the nationwide Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) network and is a Consortium member center. Read more about their tenth anniversary on the CTSI website.
Consortium Chair Susan Wolf has been appointed to the new Strategic Council for Research Excellence, Integrity, and Trust by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Academies website reports that the council is tasked with “identifying, anticipating and prioritizing key challenges to research ethics, integrity and trustworthiness; articulating principles, policies and best practices to address them; catalyzing progress by coordinating collaborative action; and breaking barriers where needed to accelerate solutions, be they conceptual, technological, cultural, or procedural.” Wolf is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Regents Professor, and McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy. Find out more about the Strategic Council on the National Academies website and the Law School website.
Profs. Francis Shen, Susan Wolf, and co-authors recently published “Emerging ethical issues raised by highly portable MRI research in remote and resource-limited international settings,” in NeuroImage. Preparation of this article was supported by an NIH Bioethics Supplement. The authors argue that field-based international research with new, more portable MRI technology can expand the inclusion of underrepresented populations and advance understanding of brain development and disorders, but must address key ethical, legal, and societal challenges. Conducting this research in low- and middle-income countries requires collaboration with and benefit to local communities and research participants throughout the process. Prof. Shen is an affiliate faculty member of the Consortium, and Prof. Wolf chairs the Consortium. Co-authors include Prof. Damein Fair, co-director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain, a Consortium member center, as well as Profs. Michael Garwood, Monica Luciana, Kelvin Lim, Jed Elison, and Kendrick Kay from the University of Minnesota and U.S. as well as international collaborators. Read the article on the NeuroImage website.
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents recently granted Consortium Chair Susan Wolf the highest level of recognition given to University faculty by naming her a Regents Professor. Prof. Wolf is an internationally recognized scholar in law, biomedicine, and bioethics. Her groundbreaking work has addressed issues including patients’ rights and health care, research with human participants, developing biomedical technologies for the public good, and equity in genomics and precision medicine. “All of my work is interdisciplinary and collaborative. I’m deeply grateful to colleagues in the Consortium, in the Law School and Medical School, across the U, and beyond.” Read the Law School’s announcement on their website and read more about Prof. Wolf on the University’s Awards and Honors website.
Researchers from the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI) warned the Food and Drug Administration in May that the U.S. agricultural supply chain was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Less than two weeks later, meat processing plants across the country were shut down due to a ransomware attack. Vulnerabilities cited by the FPDI include a lack of awareness of the cybersecurity risks facing the agricultural supply chain and a need for regulatory guidance, standards, vulnerability assessments, and education and training related to cybersecurity. The FPDI is a Consortium member center. Read an article with more information on agricultural supply chain vulnerabilities on Politico. The FPDI’s warning is available on the FDA website.
Prof. Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), and other experts recently published an article that recommends immediate action to improve COVID prevention at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. As current prevention measures do not follow several established best practices, they recommend that the World Health Organization immediately convene an emergency committee that includes experts in occupational safety, engineering, and epidemiology, as well as athlete representatives, to improve COVID risk-management for the Olympic games. CIDRAP has been a longtime member center of the Consortium on Law and Values and Dr. Osterholm is a member of the Consortium’s Executive Committee. Read the article on The New England Journal of Medicine website.
Join the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) on Wednesday, June 2 from 12:30 - 1:30pm Central time for “Taming the regulatory beast in federal and other multi-site trials.” Panelists will discuss NIH/Common Rule requirements for a single IRB in multi-site research, the responsibilities of the lead Principal Investigator of a multi-site trial, and what the FDA will expect of Sponsor-Investigators. CTSI is a Consortium member center; find more information and register on the CTSI website.
Professor Deborah Swackhammer, inaugural director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment and an early and influential member of the Consortium, passed away April 23. Prof. Swackhammer is remembered as a visionary who built lasting connections across the University of Minnesota system and as an internationally recognized researcher and scholar. She served as chair of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Advisory Board, was co-director of the University’s Water Resources Center, and was a faculty member for both the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the School of Public Health. Read additional remembrances from the Institute on the Environment and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Join the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics for “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way: Long COVID and an Alternative Model of Health in the U.S.” The webinar will take place Friday, May 28 from 12:15 - 1:30pm Central time and will feature Dr. Zackary Berger of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Berger will explain how Long COVID illuminates long-standing health inequities and propose that treating it may require reimagining the U.S. healthcare system as a whole. The webinar is part of the Center for Bioethics Ethics Grand Rounds and is free and open to the public. Find more information and register here. The Center for Bioethics is a Consortium member center.
In a paper recently published by the Journal of Economic History, Professor Philip Pardy and his co-author explore the slowing growth of agricultural productivity in the United States. The study explores technological advances that led to a surge in farm productivity in the late 20th century, then examines potential explanations for the slowdown in growth that followed. Prof. Pardy is the Director of the International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center, a Consortium member center. Read the full article here.