Sixth annual bioethics forum to tackle medical applications of research

April 9, 2007

The interface among molecular biology, medical applications, law, religion and ethics will be the focus of the sixth annual international Bioethics Forum, hosted by Promega Corp.’s BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTCI) in Fitchburg.

The title of this year’s conference, to be held on Thursday and Friday, April 19 and 20, is “From Therapy to Enhancement.” Featuring a series of keynote speakers and discussion sessions, the annual forum is designed to provide the public with access to accurate scientific information and a venue for discussing related social and ethical issues.

Confirmed keynote speakers and their topics, in order of presentation, include:

– Gabriela Cezar, assistant professor, animal sciences, UW–Madison: “Developing Therapeutics: From Research to Market”

– Andrew J. Imparato, president and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities: “Making the World Safe for Disability”

– Erik Parens, associate for philosophical studies, The Hastings Center: “Understanding the Enhancement Debate”

– Joe Palca, science correspondent, National Public Radio: “How Do You Communicate Complexity and Uncertainty in Three Minutes?”

– Maxwell Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law and director, Law-Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law: “The Social Control of Biomedical Enhancement”

– R. Alta Charo, Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, UW–Madison: “Fear and the First Amendment: Scientific Freedom, Social Disruption and the Political Expression”

In addition to the keynote presentations, several discussion sessions will be held, including “Student Voices”; “Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis: Links with the Enhancement Discussion”; Novel Stem Cell Therapies: From Research to Clinic”; “Reflections From Diverse Faith Perspectives”; “How Do We Conduct Research Related to Enhancement?” and “Enhancement in the World of Sports.”

The Bioethics Forum will take place at Promega Corporation’s BioPharmaceutical Technology Center (BTC), located at 5445 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg. The forum is open to the public and the registration fee is $75.

Platinum sponsors of the event include the BCTI, Promega Corporation and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. For more information, contact BTCI at (608) 273-9737.