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.
The Climate Intervention Biology Working Group, which includes Prof. Jessica Hellmann, Director of the Institute on the Environment, recently published a research brief on the potential ecological effects of solar radiation modification (SRM). In theory, SRM technology could be used to reflect sunlight away from the earth in order to combat global warming. The paper addresses knowledge gaps pertaining to both positive and negative ecological impacts of SRM technology. Additional information is available on the Institute for the Environment website; the paper was published in the April 2021 issue of Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. The Institute on the Environment is a Consortium member center.
Prof. Douglas Yee, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, recently spoke to the University of Minnesota’s Discovery magazine about progress in the fight against cancer since the National Cancer Act was signed in 1971. Dr. Yee describes research led by the Masonic Cancer Center and how the next ten years will transform cancer treatment and research. The Masonic Cancer Center is a Consortium member center. Read the article here.
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is hosting a webinar series that highlights the gastronomic knowledge of Indigenous women chefs. Webinars feature recipes, cooking demonstrations and commentary from nationally recognized chefs. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives institute is a Consortium member center. View recordings of past webinars and register for an upcoming webinar on the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives website.
Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, was recently profiled by the Star Tribune. “Osterholm has long used his position to inform and influence. He alerted Congress to the dangers of a viral pandemic that would overwhelm hospitals, kill millions and devastate the global economy back in 2005….” Dr. Osterholm is an international authority on COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases. CIDRAP is a member center in the Consortium on Law and Values and Dr. Osterholm has been a leader in the Consortium’s COVID Controversies webinar series. Read the article on the Star Tribune website and listen to Dr. Osterholm’s podcast.