Ethical Frontiers in Biotechnology is a monthly seminar series, hosted by Professor Insoo Hyun, explores issues at the intersection of ethics, technology, and bioscience with an eye toward practical approaches, policies and ethical responsibilities.
Invited experts will discuss the state of the science regarding chimeras, brain organoids, editing embryos, engineering living systems and other controversial frontiers of health-related knowledge and new applications. Interactive discussion will be part of each seminar.
Join the email list for upcoming event information and register below.
Thursday, October, 3, 2019, 5 p.m.
Over 22 million patients in the U.S. live with rare genetic diseases for which there are no FDA-approved treatments. Over 3.5 million of these patients are children who will die before the age of five. While genome sequencing can help diagnose these patients, it is far too long and costly to develop treatments for their orphan diseases through usual forms of scientific and pharmaceutical investment.
Using a case study from Boston Children's Hospital, Drs. Timothy Yu (left) and Insoo Hyun discuss the scientific and ethical challenges facing single-patient (N=1) trials, as well as the opportunities presented by this entrée into what may be termed "hyper-personalized medicine."
Thursday, September 5, 2019, 5 p.m.
Clinical Trials and Stem Cell Tourism
Insoo Hyun and Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley (left) will discuss the scientific and ethical challenges surrounding stem cell-based clinical trials and attempts at medical innovation using patients' own stem cells.
How are the ethical and technical challenges facing the clinical translation of stem cell science exacerbated by the growing global phenomenon of "stem cell tourism"?
Thursday, May 16, 2019
The Science and Ethics of Human/Animal Chimera Research
Stem cell-based human/animal chimera research involves the transfer of human stem cells into animal hosts at various stages of development. The purpose of this research is to introduce localized human biological characteristics into laboratory animals to advance stem cell science, developmental biology, and many areas of biomedicine. Human/animal chimera research has existed without much controversy for decades outside of stem cell research, resulting in, for example, mouse models of human cancer and the human immune system. However, the possibility of acute levels of human/animal mixing in stem cell-based chimeras is of special concern to many.
Insoo Hyun and Willy Lensch will guide attendees through the scientific and ethical issues raised by stem cell-based chimera research, drawing on years of Dr. Lensch’s chimera research experience and Dr. Hyun’s externally funded bioethics research and published work in this area.
This series is hosted and organized by the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School and co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School with support from the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.