NSF Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio)
The ERC for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio) aims to stop biological time and radically extend the ability to bank and transport cells, aquatic embryos, tissue, skin, whole organs, microphysiological systems (organs-on-a-chip), and even whole organisms through a team approach to build advanced biopreservation technologies. In order to build a more robust and diverse STEM workforce, especially in the growing number of fields needing biopreservation technologies, ATP-Bio also aims for equitable STEM education across all components of the Center. The integration of Engineering and Workforce Development (EWD) and Diversity and Culture of Inclusion (DCI) across all components of ATP-Bio is aimed at creating a more diverse STEM workforce that understands team science, especially for the growing number of fields needing biopreservation technologies.
NetEthics: Building Tools & Training to Advance Responsible Conduct in Complex Research Networks Pioneering Novel Technologies
The NetEthics project will make a major advance in the responsible conduct of large, complex engineering research projects such as NSF-funded Engineering Research Centers (ERCs). Engineering research increasingly involves large, multidisciplinary teams networked across multiple universities and other institutions to develop new technologies. However, tools to help these teams conduct research ethically and develop technologies for societal benefit are lacking. Instead, current research ethics and tools tend to focus either on the responsibilities of individual researchers or the big societal issues that the new technology will raise. These two ends of the spectrum – the micro level of the individual and the macro level of overall impacts -- leave a troubling gap in the middle by offering little guidance to the leaders of complex research networks. Those leaders regularly face difficult issues such as how to reconcile conflicting ethical approaches across the network, how to ensure ethical and respectful laboratory leadership and mentoring, how to create network-wide processes for resolving disputes, and how to build a network culture valuing inclusion and diversity. Network leaders also face challenges in building community and stakeholder relationships, ensuring responsible commercialization, and making sure that the entire research network fulfills ethical responsibilities such as responsible conduct of research (RCR) with human participants, ethical treatment of animals in research, and avoiding conflicts of interest.