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Genomics and Ethics Conference a Success

Gail Jarvik, MD, PhD
Barbara Koenig, PhD

Over 100 participants from 13 states, Japan, and Kuwait attended the March 12–13, 2015 conference Genomics and Ethics in Research and Medical Decision-Making, which featured empirical and conceptual investigations into the ethical aspects of genetics and genomics in diverse research, community, and clinical domains in biomedicine.

Held at the UC Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, the event provided a forum for discussing the intersection of genetics/genomics and ethics, including genomic medicine, community engagement, return of research and clinical results, challenges of biobanks in research, commercialization of genomics research, and consent in medical research and clinical settings.

Keynote speakers were Gail Jarvik, MD, PhD, head of the division of medical genetics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Barbara Koenig, PhD, professor, Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Jarvik holds The Arno G. Motulsky Endowed Chair in Medicine and is joint professor of medicine and genome sciences. Dr. Koenig is co-principal investigator of the Translational Genomics & Ethics Center at UCSF.

A late-breaking session on genomic data security and compliance by Angel Pizarro, MSE, of the Scientific and Research Computing division of Amazon Web Services, was presented on Day 2. 

Posters were presented by researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC); Michigan State University; and Temple University.

Event co-sponsors were the UC CCTST and Ethics Center of CCHMC.

Jusaku Minari, PhD (right), assistant professor in the department of biomedical ethics and public policy at Osaka University, along with research associate Natsuko Yamamoto, made the 6,700 mile journey from Japan to attend the conference.  Appreciating the opportunity to interact with the presenters and colleagues, Dr. Minari noted that discussions about the psychological impact on participants in the return of genomic research results, and the functional role of the IRB, were of particular interest.  His paper on a related topic is available here.

Conference objectives:

1. Describe the ethical issues in applying genomics to diverse clinical and research domains

2. Apply concepts of community engagement to informed consent and return of results

3. Identify critical issues in the commercialization of genomics

The conference agenda is available here.

For questions about continuing education credit, email the Cincinnati Children’s CME office or call 513-636-6732. For other questions regarding the conference, please email Amy Hartkemeyer or call 513-636-4273. 

Continuing Education Information

Physicians: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Cincinnati Children’s designates this live activity for a maximum of 9.5 (3.5 H, 6.0 F) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses: Contact hours will be awarded to nurses who attend the entire program and complete an evaluation tool.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (OH-046, 9/1/2015) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurses Association (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Psychologists: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is approved by the Ohio Psychological Association-MCE Program to offer continuing education for psychologists. Cincinnati Children’s (provider #310833936) maintains responsibility for the program.

Social Workers: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Social Service is an approved provider of social work clock hours by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board (provider number RSX069302). This conference is approved for 9.0 clock hours (3.25 H, 5.75 F) social work continued education clock hours. The Social Work Program Area: Social Work research (3.25) and Social Work values and ethics (5.75).

Information on our 2013 conference Empirical Bioethics: Emerging Trends for the 21st Century is available here.