SCBE brings in a significant number of grants from federal sources as well as from private foundations. In addition, the Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics (CIRGE) was established at Stanford/SCBE in September 2004. It is one of the four interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) research created by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, to proactively identify and deliberate ethical, legal, and social issues in current and emerging genetic research.
- The overarching mission and goal of the Stanford University School of Medicine is to translate discoveries into medical practice and clinical care. This NIH-funded project’s goal is to reassess, refine and refocus transformation of the clinical research enterprise. Ethics play a central role in this translational process, particularly given the tremendous ethical and regulatory challenges posed by cutting edge technologies, including stem cell research. Integrating ethics into the structure and culture of the research process is essential. Bioethics is needed to maintain an up-to-date understanding of scientific and translational developments in order to understand how ethical and regulatory frameworks do or do not apply, and develop new frameworks where necessary. The need for robust ethics support spans all areas of biomedical research but is especially obvious when research activities are undertaken in people. This project has three aims: provide ethics training throughout the continuum of education, provide early ethical intervention in the CTR (clinical translational research) process through integration into the support offered by SCCTER (Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research), and transform the culture of research by developing innovative approaches to ethical dimensions of CTR.
- The Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA), launched in Fall 2019, is a new, interdisciplinary center with the twin goals of establishing a reliable digital platform for scientists, scholars, policymakers, journalists and the general public to learn about the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics and genomics (ELSI) and fostering a community of multi-disciplinary researchers focused on high priority ELSI issues. Funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the CERA is co-led by the Division of Ethics at Columbia University and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, in partnership with The Hastings Center and Harvard University.
- The overall goal of this project is to understand how to encourage and enable people who are developing artificial intelligence for personalized health care to be aware of values in their daily practice. We will examine actual practices and contexts in which design decisions are made for precision medicine applications and use this information to design group-based workshop exercises to increase awareness of values. Research assistants needed for systematic searches of medical and business literature to identify researchers and companies using machine learning for precision medicine, and to schedule and analyze data from interviews with machine learning developers.
- Machine learning (ML) is increasingly being used by doctors and hospitals to make important health care decisions. ML can harm patients if it is inaccurate or biased. However, ML cannot be evaluated or regulated easily because its algorithms “learn” and are constantly evolving. ML development now involves players that are new to health care and thus may not recognize the ethical issues or pitfalls of ML in medicine. We seek to identify potential barriers to development of safe and ethical ML. Research assistants needed to schedule and analyze data from interviews with machine learning developers at companies in the US.
- The long-term goals of the project are to: 1) develop a research program exploring the ethical, legal and social implications of digital health technologies in mental health care and the potential impact on ethical frameworks in healthcare; 2) generate empirical research that improves understandings of the ethical, legal and social, implications of digital health technology; and 3) to improve understandings of the ethical issues involved in the use of DMHT to inform guidelines and social policy for the use of digital health technology in research, clinical, and community settings.