Translational Science

Consortium Faculty

Consortium Faculty

David H Ingbar
David H. Ingbar, MD
Director, Research Education, Training, and Career Development (CTSI-Ed), Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
Division Director, Department of Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine


LawSeq logo stacked

LawSeq Conference Videos Now Available

May 29, 2019

Videos of all sessions of the LawSeqSM conference are now available. This event brought together an eminent group of scientists, researchers, attorneys and clinicians on the campus of the University of Minnesota to grapple with gaps and areas of confusion in genomic law. The symposium was part of the LawSeqSM project, an NIH-funded effort to shape the future of law and policy to encourage the translation of genomic medicine ​from lab to clinic. View the conference videos here. A related resource is the LawSeqSM genomic law website, which includes a searchable database of relevant state and federal law as well as articles and commentaries to provide context. 


LawSeq logo stacked

Science, Wired Feature LawSeq Conference

May 1, 2019

Two major media outlets have run coverage of last week's LawSeqSM conference and webcast, held on the University of Minnesota campus. Science Magazine focused on the difficulty of accurately interpreting genomic variants, and the legal liability claims that could result. The article quotes Prof. James Evans (University of North Carolina), a member of the LawSeqSM working group: “The genome is static, but our ability to analyze it and interpret it is undergoing dramatic change. We don’t understand most of these variants, nor their potential impact on health and diseases . . . and we change our minds a lot, which is kind of frightening for patients.” In Wired Magazine, the writer homed in on genetic privacy, including observations by Mark Rothstein (University of Louisville), also a member of the working group. He stated, “In the US we have taken to protecting genetic information separately rather than using more general privacy laws, and most of the people who’ve looked at it have concluded that’s a really bad idea." Rothstein contrasted US laws and policy with those of the European Union, where DNA is treated as personal data. The LawSeqSM conference is part of an NIH-funded project to map the law of genomics for translation from laboratory into clinical settings. Learn more about LawSeqSM here


CTSI logo

New CTSI Resource Helps with NIH Study Record

April 22, 2019

A new online resource, developed by experts in the Clinicial and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Department of Pediatrics, is now available to University of Minnesota clinical researchers, grant coordinators and others to help them save time when completing the National Institutes of Health Study Record, which is used to collect information on proposed human subjects research, clinical research, and clinical trials. The “Successfully Navigating the NIH Study Record” course is a curated collection of NIH instructions that take applicants step-by-step through the completion of the NIH Study Record. In addition, the resource offers answers to frequently asked questions, tips, and expert opinion about how to complete the Study Record. The resource is now available in the University of Minnesota’s Training Hub. CTSI is a Consortium member center. 


Sharon F. Terry

Terry, Yee Illuminate Opportunities, Challenges of Citizen-Driven Research

January 31, 2019

On Jan. 29, Sharon F. Terry​, MA​ (Genetic Alliance)​ and Douglas Yee, MD (Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota)​ engaged in a lively conversation about the promises and pitfalls of research that's driven by citizen scientists and patient advocates. The wide-ranging discussion touched on Terry's own path to conducting research because her children's rare disease diagnosis. She's gone on to establish infrastructure and provide guidance for others who want more ownership of the research process and operate outside of traditional scientific channels. Dr. Yee added his perspective as a cancer researcher and clinician. The event was moderated by Susan M. Wolf, JD, Consortium Chair. Video of the webcast is available here.


Illustration of brain

University is First in US to Use New Brain Cancer Treatment

February 19, 2019

Doctors at the University of Minnesota Hospital have used a new method to deliver radiation as part of cancer treatment. Clark Chen, who is affiliated with the Masonic Cancer Center, led the team that implanted Gamma Tiles during surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor. "By implanting radiation directly, at the time of surgery, you are treating the tumor immediately," Chen told KARE11. "So [the patient is] getting much more intense radiation in the area that she needs it the most." Read more here


Amy Kircher

University Launches SPARC Research Collaborative

February 12, 2019

The University of Minnesota has created a new resource for faculty and staff who want to pursue research but need additional support. The Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) is made up of an interdisciplinary team with a proven track record of successful grants. They offer insights into writing proposals, putting together teams, and reviewing grant applications to maximize their likelihood of success. SPARC is led by Katey Pelican, PhD, DVM, Principal Investigator of the USAID One Health Workforce Project, and Amy Kircher (left), DrPH, Director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), a Consortium member. The SPARC innovation hub is designed to provide expertise and infrastructure to members of the University community and outside partners who want to pursue large and complex research projects. Learn more here.  


Sharon F. Terry

Terry Recognized for Major Contributions to Precision Medicine

February 26, 2019

Sharon F. Terry, CEO of the Genetic Alliance, has received an award at the 10th annual Precision Medicine World Conference, held in Santa Clara, CA. She was recognized for "initiating the movement to build systems for individuals to access and share health data." Terry was a stay-at-home mom when she noticed some unusual spots on the sides of her daughter’s neck. Her two children were subsequently diagnosed with pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a rare, incurable and progressive disease. This devastating prognosis led Terry and her husband, Patrick – both non-scientists – on a quest to discover treatments. She went on to become the first-ever patient advocate to be recognized as a co-inventor on a gene patent, and has since served in leadership roles for many major organizations, including the federal All of Us Research Program. Ms. Terry was the featured speaker on a Consortium-sponsored webcast in late January; the topic was "Consumers in the Lead: Transforming Research and Health." Video of that webcast is available here


Hands of people of different skin tones reaching for scales of justice

Genomic Equity Conference Videos Now Available

January 10, 2019

On Thursday, Nov. 29 a group of eminent scholars and researchers convened at Meharry Medical College in Nashville to evaluate the current state of precision medicine and how access to it can be improved. Conference presenters shared a wide-ranging array of information about obstacles and solutions to delivering genomic medicine in clinical settings. Perspectives and research were shared by leading African American, Native American and Latino scholars, as well as those involved in immigrant rights and other civil rights issues. This national symposium is the first to discuss legal, policy, community outreach and clinical approaches to ensure that genomic medicine advances health equity and avoids worsening health disparities. The event was presented by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Consortium, and the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative, and is part of the NIH-funded LawSeqSM project, which is dedicated to building a sound legal foundation for translating genomics into clinical application. View videos of conference sessions on our YouTube channel


Pills in the form of a DNA spiral

Wolf, Co-PIs Awarded Grand Challenges Pharmacogenomics Grant

January 28, 2019

The University of Minnesota's Grand Challenges Research Initiative (GCRI) has awarded a grant to a team led by Co-PIs Pamala Jacobson, Constantin Aliferis, Catherine A. McCarty, and Consortium Chair Susan M. Wolf. The funding will support an ambitious project entitled, "Toward Pharmacogenomics-Enabled Healthcare at Statewide Scale: Implementing Precision Medicine." In 2016, the University of Minnesota established the GCRI as part of its Strategic Plan. During the initial round of funding, the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative (MPMC) was created to pioneer the use of 21st century technologies – including genomics, informatics, bioengineering, analysis of environmental exposures, and behavioral sciences – to tailor health care to the challenges facing individuals and their communities. The new grant, MPMC II, will extend the MPMC's work in creating interdisciplinary approaches to translate precision medicine research into clinical use. For more on MPMC II, click here


Model of crystal structure for CRISPR-Cas9

CRISPR Babies Stun the World, Provoke Ethical Controversy

December 27, 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, one of the year's most startling scientific developments was the announcement of gene-edited twin girls born in China. While the promise and power of the technique known as CRISPR have long been known, scientists and policymakers have emphasized resisting the temptation to use it on human embryos. That is, however, precisely what He Jainkui did, as described in an article in Wired. He's attempt to contain the firestorm of criticism by proposing "a core set of fundamental human values to frame, guide and restrict clinical applications" of gene editing failed miserably, putting a point on the fact that "there are no actual international rules" for use of the technique. The primary ethical concern is limited understanding of the effects of so-called "germline editing," which is heritable and can be passed to future generations. Beyond doubts about the effects of CRISPR on the twin girls, Wired notes, "He’s research raises the spectre of gene-editing enhancements, designer babies if you will, such as making a person taller or smarter before birth," possibly heralding a new era of human-created genetic inequality. 


DNA strand with magnifying glass

Wolf Describes Policy Solutions for Future of Genomic Medicine

December 11, 2018

The November/December issue of Minnesota Medicine features PDF icon an article by Consortium Chair Susan M. Wolf about the legal and regulatory underpinnings needed to advance genomic medicine. It is part of a special issue on the future of medicine, and provides an overview of the NIH-funded LawSeqSM project Wolf co-leads with Ellen Wright Clayton (Vanderbilt University) and Frances Lawrenz (University of Minnesota). LawSeqSM is dedicated to analyzing current US federal and state law and regulation on translational genomics. Results of the effort will be the development of consensus guidance on what the law should be, as well as the creation of a website aggregating the statutes, regulations and case law related to genomic medicine. The Minnesota Medicine article was co-authored by Kathryn Grimes, Communications Director for the Consortium.


Earl E. Bakken

Medtronic Founder Earl A. Bakken Dies at 94

October 22, 2018

Minnesota inventor Earl E. Bakken, best known as the founder of global medical device company Medtronic, has died at his home in Hawaii. Bakken was born in Columbia Heights and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in electrical engineering in 1948. An inveterate tinkerer from an early age, Bakken invented the first wearable, battery-powered, transistorized cardiac pacemaker in 1957 at the request of University of Minnesota heart surgeon C. Walton Lillehei. A Minnesota Public Radio obituary explains that he founded Medtronic because he "saw a need for skilled maintenance and repair of electronic medical technology." Bakken noted, "'The hospitals were bringing this equipment to radio shops.'" Later in life, Bakken became a philanthropist; among his many good works was funding the University's Center for Spirituality and Healing, a Consortium member, which changed its name to honor him in 2017. Photo courtesy Bobak Ha'Eri via the Creative Commons.


Cathy Wurzer with speaker at Mayo conference Sept 2018

Mayo Genomic Medicine Conference Asks: Hype or Hope?

September 17, 2018

At a conference held last week at the Mayo Clinic, health care professionals discussed the promise and limits of genomic (also known as precision) medicine. According to the Star Tribune, while optimism is justified, Dr. Michael Joyner of Mayo cautioned that "'I like to tell people to drink the Kool-Aid in small doses.' He described a 'hype-filled biomedical narrative' that, he argues, has led people to believe that genetic medicine has accomplished more than it really has." Mayo is participating in the federal All of Us Research program, in which 100 health care organizations in the US are collecting genetic information for one million people. A free conference and national webcast being held in Nashville on Nov. 29 will take the discussion of genomic medicine a step further, focusing on legal and policy solutions to ensure precision medicine doesn't exacerbate health inequities. That event, "Law, Genomic Medicine & Heath Equity" is co-sponsored by the Meharry-Vanderbilt AllianceVanderbilt University Medical Center, the Consortium on Law & Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences and Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative. Learn more and register here


Brain with Alzheimers

Alzheimer's Research Uses Innovative Clinical Design, Precision Medicine Tools

September 5, 2018

Recent research has raised hopes that new drugs can help slow or reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. While promising breakthroughs abound in this arena, what distinguishes the development of one of these drugs, BAN2401, was the clinical trial's "adaptive design." That approach "ensured that when new subjects were recruited, they were more likely to be assigned to arms of the trial that showed the greatest promise," according to the Los Angeles Times. Advocates for adaptive design note it can make clinical trials more flexible, efficient and ethical because it makes effective treatments more readily available to patients. Critics are concerned that such adaptation opens the door to biased studies. To read a recent symposium on challenges to the conduct of high-quality laboratory research, click here. The other promising drug, Anavex 2-73, was developed using precision medicine approaches. "Researchers [focused on studying a small group of] Alzheimer’s patients who bear a few 'actionable genetic variants.'" These variants were identified by genomic sequencing intended to find participants most likely to have a positive response to the drugs. On Nov. 29, the Consortium is co-sponsoring a free, public conference and webcast, "Law, Genomic Medicine & Health Equity" that will discuss some of the implications of precision medicine for traditionally underserved populations; co-sponsors are the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Vanderbilt Health, and the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative. The event will be held at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN; to learn more and register, click here