Annual Research Ethics Conference Examines Real-world Consequences of Policy Changes

Susan Wolf at podium for Research Ethics conference 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Faculty, researchers, students and staff gathered in Coffman Theater on March 6 for the fourth annual, all-University Research Ethics Conference, Major Changes in Research Rules & Oversight: Making Progress or Creating New Problems? They were joined by several hundred webcast viewers. Three plenary speakers – Carrie D. Wolinetz of NIH, Pearl O'Rourke of Partners HealthCare Systems, Harvard Medical School and the All of Us Research Program, and Jeremy Wolfe of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital – each discussed an area of federal policy that has recently undergone changes. The final session was a panel of local experts who commented on the previous sessions and shared insights from their areas of specialty: Sue Abderholden (NAMI Minnesota) discussed the particulars of research participation of people with mental illness, Zubin Master (Mayo Clinic) raised bioethics questions about the new policies, particularly related to emerging areas like biohacking, and John E. Wagner (Masonic Cancer Center, Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota) described the practical challenges federal rules can present for researchers. The conference concluded with a lively question-and-answer period between panelists, plenary speakers and audience members. Videos of the conference can be viewed here