All lectures take place at 3647 Peel, Don Bates Seminar Room 101 until noted otherwise.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SEMINAR TIMES MAY VARY, SO BE SURE TO CHECK EACH INDIVIDUAL LISTING CAREFULLY
Tuesday, January 29 @ 2:15 PM
Saskia Hendriks, National Institutes of Health
Stem cell therapies for infertility and the importance of genetic parenthood
Emerging stem cell therapies may help increasing numbers of infertile couples become genetic parents. Considering the potential implications of such therapies, experts have called for a debate on responsible clinical introduction.
In order to summarize the current state of the field, Dr. Hendriks will provide an overview of the biological progress of the field as well as the results of a series of consultations with patients, physicians, and the general public. Topics cover patients’ interest, implications of potential clinical introduction, potential patient groups, and appropriate oversight.
Stem cell therapies for infertility are being developed under the presumption that patients value genetic parenthood. Based on a series of studies, Dr. Hendriks will show that although infertile patients do prefer genetic parenthood, long-term outcomes of non-genetic parenthood seem equal to genetic parenthood. Furthermore, patients may not value genetic parenthood enough to accept therapies with unfavourable risk-benefit profiles.
Friday, February 1st @ 3:15
Phoebe Friesen, University of Oxford
Is Schizophrenia Research Under Threat?: How funding structures and patient groups shape scientific knowledge
Two significant shifts are taking place within psychiatry. The first shift involves the replacement of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) criteria with RDoC (Research Domain Criteria), in research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the world’s largest funder of psychiatric research. Moving away from the discrete diagnostic categories of the DSM, RDoC prioritizes basic science research and refrains from drawing a line in advance between pathological and non-pathological experiences. The second shift has been taking place in schizophrenia research over several decades and involves the adoption of wider outcome measures related to quality of life in place of narrow measures such as symptom scales. This change is largely a result of the influence of patient groups. It is argued that this second shift has been successful in bringing to light several explanatory models of schizophrenia that are likely to bear fruit in terms of both understanding schizophrenia and developing tools and treatments for those living with the condition. In light of this, this presentation asks whether the shift to RDoC will threaten the gains associated with research related to quality of life in schizophrenia. In response, it is suggested there is both reason to be wary and reason to be hopeful when it comes to schizophrenia research and funding based on RDoC.
Tuesday, February 5th @ 3 PM
Madison Kilbride, University of Pennsylvania
The New Generation of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies now offer tests that, until a few years ago, were only available in the clinical setting. For example, Color Genomics—one of the leading DTC testing companies—offers a test that analyzes sixty genes for mutations that are associated with an increased risk of cancer and cardiac disease. Modern DTC tests differ from earlier offerings along two key dimensions. First, they have more significant health implications. Whereas early tests focused on mutations that are only weakly correlated with diseases, current tests analyze genes for mutations that are associated with a high risk of disease. Second, modern tests are sold under an entirely new business model. On this new model, genetic tests are advertised to consumers but ordered by licensed physicians, in many cases by a company-provided contract physician who has no existing relationship with the individual seeking testing. In this talk, I address the potential risks associated with this new DTC testing model and explain how current practices contravene existing professional recommendations for genetic testing. I then consider the possibility that, insofar as current recommendations were developed for a clinical population, they may not be applicable to DTC users. I argue that, in order to assess the permissibility of these DTC practices, research is needed to study the outcomes of individuals undergoing DTC genetic tests for serious disease risks. I conclude by outlining my proposed research to evaluate whether the new generation of DTC genetic tests poses unacceptable risks to consumers.
Friday, September 28
Mark J. Ratain, M.D., University of Chicago
Interventional Pharmacoeconomics: A Strategy to Reduce Prescribing Costs of Modern Cancer Therapeutics
Co-sponsored with the Lady Davis Institute Cancer Axis
Abortion Beyond Bounds: Self-Management and the Circulations of Knowledge, Technology and Care
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Ulf Schmidt, University of Kent
Co-sponsored with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine
Secret Science: A Century of Poison Warfare and Human Experiments
Science and Skepticism: Critiquing Bad Research in an Anti-Science Era
If you missed the Science and Skepticism Symposium, you can watch the whole thing on Youtube: https://bit.ly/2EDs6JH
A symposium sponsored by McGill University’s Biomedical Ethics Unit and Dept. of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health
Monday, March 19, 2018; 1:00pm-4:00pm
McGill University Faculty Club, Billiard Room