Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture

Social Difference

Precision Medicine—an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person—raises a myriad of cultural, political, and historical questions that the humanities are uniquely positioned to address. As part of its overall Precision Medicine Initiative, Columbia is initiating a broad based exploration of questions that precision medicine raises in law, ethics, the social sciences, and the humanities, which we believe will establish the university as the center for scholarship relating to precision medicine and society. Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture will be the first of its kind to bring Columbia faculty from the humanities, social sciences, law, and medicine into dialogue with leading scholars from the United States and abroad to discuss how humanistic questions might enhance our understanding of the ethical, social, legal, and political implications of precision medicine research, and to inform humanists about evidence, evaluation, and research outcomes from serious interdisciplinary engagement with this emerging medical field.

 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
 
Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture 2017-2018 Graduate Fellowship
 
Columbia University’s working group on Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture is seeking graduate fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. Graduate students from any of Columbia’s schools whose work is related to any aspect of precision medicine are invited and encouraged to apply. 
 
Project Description:
 
Precision Medicine—an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person—raises a myriad of cultural, political, and historical questions that the humanities are uniquely positioned to address. As part of its overall Precision Medicine Initiative, Columbia has initiated a broad based exploration of questions that precision medicine raises in law, ethics, the social sciences, and the humanities, which establishes the University as the center for scholarship relating to precision medicine and society. The Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture Project is the first of its kind to bring Columbia faculty from the humanities, social sciences, law, and medicine into dialogue with leading scholars from the United States and abroad to discuss how humanistic questions might enhance our understanding of the ethical, social, legal, and political implications of precision medicine research, and to inform humanists about evidence, evaluation, and research outcomes from serious interdisciplinary engagement with this emerging medical field. 
 
The working group provides an excellent opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary discussion, networking, and other work related to recent developments and the future of precision medicine and society. The project is co-directed by Rachel Adams, PhD (Columbia University), and Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD (Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons).
 
Fellowship Requirements:
 
Graduate fellows will be expected to attend all meetings (6 public events followed by working group meetings led by visiting scholars during the academic year); read circulated materials prior to the meetings and take part in conversation; provide an oral response to one of the scheduled speakers; write a short blog about that event; assist with promotion and publicity for meetings on Columbia’s campuses; and otherwise support and facilitate the work of the group. Fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend for the year. Only Columbia graduate students are eligible. Applicants with disabilities and applicants belonging to minority groups are encouraged to apply. 
 
To apply, please submit a one-page letter of interest, CV, and informal transcript to Liz Bowen (elb2157@columbia.edu) by June 16, 2017. Questions about this fellowship and the project more generally can be sent to this email as well. Successful applicants will be notified by June 30, 2017.
Senior Research Scholar, Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University
 
"Will Precision Medicine Be for 'All of Us'? The 'Good Citizen' in an Age of Disparity"
 
Precision medicine research relies on the massive collection of biospecimens, electronic health records, and other sources of behavioral and environmental data.

Jackie Leach Scully, Professor of Social Ethics and Bioethics, and Executive Director, Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre, Newcastle University, UK will ask how are the enormous recent advances in genomic knowledge and capabilities changing the meaning of the relationship between material embodiment and our sense of self? What does that mean for our understanding of embodiment that is disabled?

Jacqueline J L Chin, Associate Professor, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore presents a discussion on February 9, 2017 about "Precision Medicine, Privacy, and Family Relations."
 
The talk, sponsored by CSSD's project on Precision Medicine: Ethics, P
Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Princeton University presents a discussion on November 10th called "Can the Subaltern Genome Code?
CSSD's Precision Medicine working group presents Aditya Bharadwaj, Research Professor, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, on "Cultivated Cures: Ethnographic Encounters with Contentious Stem Cell Regenerations in India" on October 13th, 2016 from 5-7 p.m. at 754 Schermerhorn Extension.
 
The lecture seeks to conceptualize how we might understand a scene of chronic and progressively pathological affliction as a site for witnessing the anatomy of a cultured and cultivated cure from within the emergent field of regenerative medicine.
CSSD’s Precision Medicine working group presents James Tabery, Adjunct Associate Professor, Pediatriacs, Internal Medicine, and Philosophy, University of Utah, on "Collins' Cohort: The Path from The Human Genome Project to the Precision Medicine Initiative" on September 15th, 2016 from 5-7 p.m.