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Osterholm Warns of Issues With COVID-19 Testing, Proposes a Way Forward

April 28, 2020

In a New York Times op-ed on April 28, Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker analyze the challenges of diagnostic testing for COVID-19, including the potential for false negatives, the fact that individuals would need to be screened repeatedly, and accuracy issues. They also warn of problems with antibody testing. They recommend testing improvements, including greater FDA oversight, increased production of testing reagents and equipment, and intensified “syndromic surveillance.” Prof. Osterholm is Director of CIDRAP, a Consortium member center. Read the full article here

Researcher testing samples

Genomics Center works with University partners to improve COVID-19 clinical testing

April 23, 2020

The University of Minnesota Genomics Center, a Consortium member center, worked with the University of Minnesota Medical School, the Molecular Diagnostics Lab, and M Health Fairview to develop a procedure that increases COVID-19 testing volume. Findings were recently published in bioRxiv so other institutions can utilize the new procedure and mitigate the current testing shortage. More information on how the testing procedure was refined and improved is available on the Medical School Website.

Covid-19 and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Masonic Cancer Center Helps Patients Adjust Care Due to COVID-19

April 13, 2020

As COVID-19 can cause severe issues for people with compromised immune systems, the Masonic Cancer Center, a Consortium member, and their clinical partner, M Health Fairview, are making changes in order to minimize risk and ensure cancer patients are not unnecessarily exposed. Adjustments include utilizing video-supported visits with oncologists and changes to scheduling that ensure patients interact with as few people as possible. Read more on the Masonic Cancer Center website here

Lecturer Viswanath

Dr. Vish Viswanath Offers Ways to Counter COVID-19 Misinformation

April 10, 2020

In a recent article published by Thrive Global, Dr. K. “Vish” Viswanath, Professor of Health Communication at Harvard School of Public Health, and Dr. Michelle A. Wiliams, Dean of the Faculty at Harvard School of Public Health, offer five steps to help people and organizations communicate responsibly about COVID-19. Dr. Viswanath will join the Consortium to present a webcast on “Communicating Science to Reduce Health Disparities in a World of Communication Inequalities,” on Thursday, April 16. Prof. Sarah Gollust of the U of M’s School of Public Health will present the faculty commentary.

Virus surrounded by community

DeBruin, Wolf to Co-Lead Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative

April 3, 2020

Profs. Debra DeBruin and Susan M. Wolf will co-lead the statewide Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative (MCEC), which supports sound ethical policy related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaborative is a joint venture of the Minnesota Department of Health, the State Health Care Coordination Center, Minnesota Hospital Association, and the University of Minnesota. DeBruin is Interim Director of the Center for Bioethics, a Consortium member center, and Wolf is Chair of the Consortium. Read more.


Helmuth announced as Editor-In-Chief at Scientific American

March 30, 2020

Scientific American has announced that Laura Helmuth, PhD, will be its new Editor-in-Chief. Dr. Helmuth is currently Health and Science Editor at The Washington Post. She will join the Consortium to present a webcast on “How the Mass Media Cover Health, Science, and the Environment—and What You Can Do to Help,” on Friday, April 3. Prof. Rebekah Nagler at the U of M’s Hubbard School of Journalism will present the faculty commentary. Read the full Scientific American announcement here

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Center for Spirituality & Healing Launches COVID-19 Resource Page

March 27, 2020

The University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, a Consortium member center, has launched a webpage with resources meant to help health professionals, students, and other members of the community cope with the challenges presented by COVID-19. COVID-19: Bakken Center Information and Resources includes links to videos, podcasts, and printable handouts on topics including fear and anxiety, altruism, isolation, gratitude and self-care, prioritization, positivity, and mindfulness.

Small MRI machine

Consortium NIH Grant Publishes on Ethical Issues in Highly Portable Neuroimaging Research

March 18, 2020

The Consortium’s NIH-funded grant analyzing the challenging ethical issues raised by emerging MRI technology just published a new article in Neuron. Prof. Francis Shen, Consortium Chair Susan Wolf and coauthors map the urgent issues raised by highly portable and cloud-enabled neuroimaging research, including consent, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for analysis, management of incidental findings when remote from a medical center, and deployment in under-represented and under-resourced populations. 

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University of Minnesota Research Ethics Week -  March 2 - 6, 2020

February 28, 2020

The University's 5th annual Research Ethics Week takes place March 2 - 6. This year, a record number of college and departments are offering events and training on ethics and integrity in research. Find more information about Research Ethics week here. Research Ethics Week is anchored by the annual Research Ethics Conference, this year on "The Power and Perils of Research Data: Generating, Storing & Sharing Data Responsibly." Register to attend in person or online here.

Health care worker in mask

Osterholm Advocates for Protecting Health Care Workers in Fight Against Coronavirus

February 14, 2020

A Washington Post article by Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker states that, "Of all our endless wars, the most protracted is our war against dangerous microbes, of which the covid-19 coronavirus is the latest battle. Just as we honor our fallen warriors on the battlefield, we should honor 34-year-old Li Wenliang, the Wuhan physician who died of the disease last week after defying Chinese authorities by trying to get the word out about the growing outbreak." Dr. Osterholm is Director of CIDRAP, a Consortium member center. Read more. 


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