2013 News Features: NHGRI announces grants to the Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


NHGRI announces grants to the Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program

By Steven Benowitz
Associate Director of Communications, Extramural Research Program

People with letters of A, T, G, C in the foreground

How will families respond to information about their future children's genetic risks? What might be the impact of providing information on the genomics of psychiatric conditions to patients, families and physicians? How does the genome affect a person's response to the flu virus and vaccine, and what ethical issues might this raise?

These and other questions will be investigated by researchers supported by the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) research program at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)'s Division of Genomics and Society.

To research these questions, NHGRI awarded two Specialized Center grants and three Exploratory Center grants this past summer under its Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEERs) program. The CEERS program, established in 2004, brings together experts in bioethics, law, behavioral and social sciences, clinical research, theology, public policy, and genetic and genomic research to develop innovative, interdisciplinary research approaches related to genomic research.

"One of the major goals of these programs is to better understand the ethical implications of the science, which we hope in turn will help inform the development of future research efforts," said Joy Boyer, senior program analyst in the division's ELSI program. All centers also focus on translating research into formats that can be used in the development of research, health and social policy options, she added.

The newly funded grants will do the following:

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Posted: November 15, 2013