Release Date: April 25, 2018
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo will host a public discussion with hundreds of members of the Western New York community on the ethics surrounding research consent, privacy and the ownership of DNA.
Prior to the discussion, guests will view a screening of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a 2017 film that details how Lacks’ cancer cells were taken without her permission in 1951.
Her cells, which divide indefinitely, have led to hundreds of medical discoveries, including the development of the polio vaccine. But the research also revealed major issues surrounding the ethics of research consent.
These issues, along with the state of genetic research, including studies being conducted in Buffalo, will be discussed. Two of the panelists include a volunteer research participant and a UB professor who studied under one of the scientists involved with Lacks.
When: Today, April 26, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB at 955 Main St., Buffalo.
The film will begin at 6 p.m. and the discussion at 7:30 p.m. Media are invited to attend. On-site contact is Marcene Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-207-5814.
Why: “There is a certain amount of distrust surrounding clinical studies within the community, and those fears are grounded in real, historical facts that we, as researchers, cannot ignore. This event provides the perfect platform for airing those concerns,” said Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, director of community translational research in the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).
The event is held in honor of the National Institutes of Health’s 15th National DNA Day, a celebration of the anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project, the world’s largest collaborative research effort, which successfully identified and mapped all of the genes in human DNA.