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.
Professor Arturo Casadevall, chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, authored a recent opinion article for the Wall Street Journal on issues surrounding convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. Prof. Casavedall will be a featured panelist for “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” the second of the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment" webinar series. The webinar takes place Friday, October 16 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central time. Register now to attend.
In an article featured on STAT, Professor Holly Fernandez Lynch comments on transparency and trust related to ongoing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials. Prof. Lynch will be a featured panelist for “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” the second of the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment" webinar series. The webinar takes place Friday, October 16 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central time. Register now to attend.
In a recent CNN story, two former Commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration offer their perspectives on how political pressure could affect the release of a COVID-19 vaccine. Both also feature in the Consortium’s “COVID Controversies: Ethical Challenges in Research & Treatment” webinar series. Dr. Robert Califf, FDA Commissioner from 2016-17, will take part in “Reconciling Research and Treatment: Seeking Answers & Saving Lives,” on Friday, October 16. Register now to attend. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who served as FDA Commissioner for six years, was featured in “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” as well as a follow-up Q&A session. Video for the webinar and follow-up session is available.
HealthPartners has announced that it is recruiting 1,500 Minnesota adults to participate in a Phase 3 study of a vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca. A Star Tribune article details the goals of the vaccine study, how the proposed vaccine is supposed to work, and how a vaccine may be distributed once it is approved. The article includes insights provided in the Consortium’s recent “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety” webinar. Dr. Margaret Hamburg warns that political interference may “undermine confidence and trust,” while Dr. Nicole Lurie explains that continued vaccine development and improvement will likely continue even after a vaccine becomes available. Read the full Star Tribune article here.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr. Margaret Hamburg discussed the FDA approval of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. Dr. Hamburg was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration for six years and recently retired as foreign secretary for the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Hamburg will appear with other experts for “COVID Vaccine Research & Deployment: Reconciling Speed & Safety,” this Friday, August 28. Register now to attend.
A new grant from the Neuroethics Division of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will bring together national experts in neuroethics, neurolaw, and neuroscience to produce ethics recommendations for the use of breakthrough Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that is highly portable and cloud-enabled. This new technology will allow neuroimaging research in underrepresented populations and diverse field settings. This 4-year project based at the Consortium on Law and Values will use empirical and analytic methods to devise guidance on ethical challenges including informed consent, data privacy, and return of results. The project’s principal investigators are Profs. Francis Shen, JD, PhD; Susan M. Wolf, JD; and Frances Lawrenz, PhD. Read more: Highly Portable and Cloud-Enabled Neuroimaging Research: Confronting Ethics Challenges in Field Research with New Populations.
The University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine has received a new $26 million National Science Foundation grant to establish a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio). ATP-Bio research projects will put ethics and public policy at the forefront by conducting and publishing ethical analyses, augmenting standard review, and engaging policy leaders to anticipate and consider the impacts of ATP-Bio research. Professor Susan Wolf, chair of the U’s Consortium on Law and Values, will lead the Ethics & Public Policy component of ATP-Bio; she will also serve on the ATP-Bio Executive Committee. She will work with faculty at the University of Minnesota and the cooperating ATP-Bio institutions (Massachusetts General Hospital, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley) as well as an Ethics Advisory Panel. Read more here.
Join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a free virtual workshop on how research universities can face COVID challenges and other major issues. On Tuesday, July 21 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, the Academies will present “Reopening U.S. Research Universities: Confronting Long-Standing Challenges and Imagining Novel Solutions.” Speakers include the presidents of the National Academies and leaders from government and academia. Prof. Susan Wolf will moderate a session on “Trustworthiness of the Research Enterprise: Challenges to Research Integrity and Public Trust,” featuring Christine Grady, RN, PhD, Chief of Bioethics at the NIH Clinical Center, and Holden Thorp, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Science. Prof. Wolf is a member of the Academies committee presenting the workshop and Chair of the Consortium. For the workshop agenda and registration, visit the workshop website.
Researchers from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Genomics Center are studying whether COVID-19 levels in sewage can provide actionable insights into viral spread. As COVID-19 patients typically begin “shedding” the virus before experiencing symptoms, testing sewage may allow researchers and policy makers to address new outbreaks more quickly. One project, led by Prof. Glenn E. Simmons, Jr., at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth analyzes raw sewage for virus levels. Dr. Simmons is a CTSI Pre-K Discovery Scholar. The Genomics Center is studying whether testing solids that settle out of wastewater can provide useful data. CTSI and the Genomics Center are Consortium member centers. Read more about the work here.