Research Ethics Track Courses

Research Ethics 3.0 Hrs. (BETH 420 or BETH 503) Required Core Course:  This course is required for RET students and will include individual but integrated foundational modules that incorporate case studies to highlight topic areas. In- depth discussions of ethical and regulatory frameworks that influence decision making, policy development, and the conduct of biomedical and social-behavioral science research will allow students to explore the nuances, gaps, challenges, and concerns raised in research involving human subjects. Contemporary issues, including control and access to human specimens, implications of animal and human genetic and genomic research, clinical research trials involving cutting-edge drug discovery strategies, as well as data sharing and intellectual property will be addressed within the framework of integrating research ethics into the scientific process.

Ethical Issues in Genetics and Genomics   3.0 Hrs (BETH 412)
This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with the major controversies inherent in the generation and use of new human genetic information.  Topics will include the spread of predictive genetic testing, prenatal diagnosis, genetic discrimination, human genetic variation research, eugenics, genetic counseling, and the limits of human gene therapy. The course will be conducted as a seminar, and will involve discussions of readings, guest speakers, and student presentations.

International Health Research Ethics 3.0 Hrs (BETH 414)

This course will introduce students to key ethical issues that arise in international health research. The course will include intensive reading and case-based discussion of current ethical and moral quandaries posed by research conducted in the international arena. Five full-day sessions are planned. Each day will be divided into a series of formal presentations and active, group-based discussions of topics that include: the historical context of international health research; current international ethics principles, standards, and declarations; key tools and concepts for unpacking ethical issues in international health research; issues in informed consent and conflict of interest; “reasonable availability” and the conduct of clinical trials; cutting-edge international genetics research; the responsibility of researchers to the international health community. Course evaluation is based on class participation, a written exercise, and a case analysis.

Students will explore particular issues and themes in biomedical research ethics in depth through independent study and research under the direction of a faculty member.