The UNC Center for Bioethics has the advantage of a robust network of collaborative partnerships with other programs, both at UNC and beyond. These partnerships and their inaugural joint activities include:
UNC School of Medicine
The traditional home for bioethics with the UNC School of Medicine, the Department of Social Medicine continues to be the UNC Center for Bioethics’ closest institutional partner. The Department successfully mounted the proposal to create the Center as a University-wide unit, and hosts the academic appointments of the Center’s core faculty, and provides the Center’s principal opportunities for medical school teaching. The Department and the Center share a single Business Manager (Francine Massey), and enjoy proximal space in the School of Medicine’s MacNider Hall, in the heart of UNC’s health sciences campus.
Department of Philosophy, UNC College of Arts and Sciences
Serving as the “public face of ethics” at UNC, the Parr Center serves as an important host for public discussions of topical ethical issues, and sponsors UNC’s collegiate “Ethics Bowl” team. The UNC Center for Bioethics and the Parr Center have established a close working relationship, including:
- Sharing Staff: Dionna Nalls, the Bioethics Center Coordinator spent one Friday a week in the Fall of 2010 in the role of Staff Assistant for the Parr Center during a staff transition there, learning how they organize events and select speakers.
- Co-Sponsoring the “Bioethics at UNC” (“BUNC”) faculty discussion group. This series of monthly faculty seminars has been organized under the Parr Center’s auspices since 2008, and is now organized through the Bioethics Center, with Parr Center support.
- Co-Sponsoring guest speakers in bioethics. On Nov. 7, 2010, the Parr Center and the Center for Bioethics co-sponsored Dr. Robert Wachbroit’s lecture, to inaugurate our Visiting Scholars in Bioethics Seminar Series.
- Co-Sponsoring the UNC “Ethics Bowl” team. While the team continues to be organized through the Parr Center, the Center for Bioethics was able to help contribute to its 2011 season.
The UNC Center for Bioethics partners with the UNC Health Care System to support the System’s Hospital Ethics Committee (HEC) and the Committee’s Clinical Ethics Grand Rounds Series.
UNC Health System
The NC TraCS Institute at UNC is one of 60 medical research institutions working together as a national consortium to improve the way biomedical research is conducted. The consortium, funded through the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), shares a common vision to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, and to engage communities in clinical research efforts. It also is fulfilling the critical need to train a new generation of clinical researchers.The Center for Bioethics collaborates with the Institute to co-sponsor the Institute’s Clinical Research Ethics Core, which provides educational activities, consultation services, and research support for the Institute. This co-sponsorship involves:
- Staffing the Clinical Research Ethics Core. Dr. Juengst now directs the Core, and all its faculty are also Core Faculty of the Bioethics Center.
- Co-Sponsoring the Research Ethics Grand Rounds, a monthly educational seminar series.
- Co-Sponsoring the Research Ethics Consultation Service.
- Co-sponsoring the Center’s “Responsible Conduct of Research” Teaching Roundtable, on February 11, 2011, to survey and integrate scientific integrity teaching across the University.
Carolina Genome Sciences Center, UNC School of Medicine
An NIH-designated “Center of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research,” the Center for Genomics and Society is an interdisciplinary research center focused on issues emerging with the advent of whole genome sequencing, population-wide genomic screening, and other “large scale” genomic interventions. Dr. Gail Henderson directs CGS, and Dr. Juengst serves as a Center investigator, leading his NIH R01-funded research project, “Anticipating Personalized Genomic Medicine”. Center for Bioethics Core faculty Rebecca Walker and Arlene Davis also serve as investigators for the CGS.
UNC School of Medicine
The NIH-supported UNC CFAR connects the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health in conducting and supporting all stages of HIV research. The CFAR includes an Ethics Program, designed to integrate ethical considerations into each of the CFAR’s principal research programs. The Ethics Program is directed by Dr. Stuart Rennie, and includes Dr. Juengst and Dr. Gail Henderson as faculty members. Together, the Ethics Program and the Center for Bioethics are currently seeking support for a co-sponsored faculty development award program to encourage research on ethical issues in HIV research and clinical care by UNC faculty.
We are a group of researchers dedicated to linking the humanities and health sciences through student-centered research projects, innovative curricula, and public engagement. Our mission is to help prepare the next generation to think across disciplines, consult their values and passions, and tackle real-world problems to create meaningful social change.