The University of Minnesota's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences will host a major conference on "Should We Return Research Results and Incidental Findings from Genomic Biobanks & Archives," from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, Bethesda, Md.
The conference is sponsored by the U of M's Consortium on Law and Values thanks to a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant funds a 2-year project that was convened to develop normative consensus recommendations on managing incidental findings (IFs) and individual research results (IRRs) in genomic research using biobanks and large archives.
University of Minnesota Law School Professor Susan Wolf is the principal investigator in this project. Co-principal investigators include U of M professors Jeffery Kahn, Frances Lawrenz, and Brian Van Ness.
In order to understand the genetic contribution to a host of diseases and conditions of great importance to public health, scientists are increasingly assembling large biobanks, archiving many individuals' DNA and health information for scientific reanalysis over time. This project brings leading experts on bioethics, genomics, biobanking, and law to recommend policies and practices on return of both incidental findings and individual research results that may have importance for the donor.
The May 19 conference will include a keynote session on genomic biobanks and archives facing the problem of incidental findings and return of research results. The project investigators will then present their recommendations to conference attendees, and a panel of experts will provide input before opening up the discussion to the audience.
Break-out sessions will focus on biobank structure and governance, what findings should be returned, returning findings from secondary research, engaging specific populations on managing incidental findings, and an empirical assessment of returning incidental findings and research results. For more information, visit www.lifesci.consortium.umn.edu/conferences/2011_ifbb/about.
Source : University of Minnesota