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Bioethicists to ponder biotechnology and the brain

April 12, 2005 By Paroma Basu

Researchers at UW–Madison will be featured among several experts gathering at the Fourth Annual International Bioethics Forum on Thursday and Friday, April 21 and 22, to discuss a range of ethical issues.

Working under the theme, “Biotechnology and the Brain,” forum participants will primarily ponder bioethical and social concerns emerging around the growing intersection of neuroscience, molecular biology, medical applications, law and ethics.

The Promega Corp., a local biotechnology firm, will host the forum under the auspices of the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTCI), an educational nonprofit organization that Promega supports. Other event sponsors include the BTCI and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

“Building on what we have learned at our previous forums, we are pleased to once again offer a venue for public discussion of these important topics,” says Bill Linton, Promega’s chairman and chief executive officer and president of the BTCI board of directors.

The forum will feature several keynote presentations and concurrent discussion sessions. UW–Madison speakers will include, among others, lawyer and bioethicist R. Alta Charo, neural stem cell scientist Clive Svendsen and consciousness researcher Giulio Tononi.

Discussions will center on diverse bioethical considerations in issues, ranging from the regulatory climate of stem cell research to drug discovery.