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Penn wins $5M to start center for ethical, legal and social implications research
Date:10/25/2007

PHILADELPHIA A new Center for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research has been established at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a collaboration with the Schools of Nursing and Arts and Sciences, the Wharton School and the Annenberg School for Communication.

The Penn Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technology (Penn CIGHT) will receive over $5 million over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health to study the certainty or uncertainty of results from genetic testing.

The University of Pennsylvania and the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia have outstanding expertise in studying the human genome and the causes of genetic diseases, and in the care, counseling and treatment of people with hereditary diseases, says Center director Reed Pyeritz, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Medical Genetics at the Penn School of Medicine. However, this expertise is spread over many centers and departments in multiple institutions. This grant begins the process of bringing together not only these people, but enabling them to interact with faculty and students from multiple disciplines from the wider university.

The overall goal of the Penn CIGHT is to develop tools that will help educate consumers, professionals, policy makers, and insurers understand and cope with the certainty or uncertainty of results from genetic technologies. Team members will conduct original research to evaluate genetic technologies including:

  • an historical and sociological analysis of the ethical, legal, and social consequences of prenatal testing in the areas of cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome, led by Ruth Schwartz Cowan, PhD, Chair of the Department of the History and Sociology of Science,

  • an assessment of patient and provider perceptions of the utility of a genetic test to identify the likelihood of future disease susceptibility, using HHT, a single g
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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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