August 1, 2003

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Reproductive Genetics Advisory Committee Named
Genetics and Public Policy Center Sets Course for Developing Policy Options

The Genetics and Public Policy Center, at Johns Hopkins University, has established the Reproductive Genetics Advisory Committee to provide expert advice on the scientific, medical, legal, social, ethical, and policy issues that accompany genetic testing, gene transfer and cloning technologies and their potential applications to human reproduction. The Center, a $10 million project supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, seeks to assess societal attitudes towards reproductive genetics and to develop evidence-based policy options to guide the development and use of these technologies.

"Reproductive genetics confronts individuals and society with myriad personal and social policy choices, yet the costs and consequences of these choices and the values each choice embodies have not been fully explored. We intend to provide well-considered policy options so that the public and policymakers can make informed choices on the use, application, and future direction of these technologies," commented Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., director of the Center.

Over the coming months, the Center, in consultation with advisory committee members, will develop a preliminary set of policy options for genetic testing, human reproductive cloning and gene transfer. Comments from key stakeholder groups, opinion leaders and the public will be used to refine initial policy options. The Center will present a range of options for each topic, rather than advocate for any particular policy.

The Reproductive Genetics Advisory Committee members are leading experts in science, law, policy, medicine, religion, and consumer/patient advocacy. The committee members are:

Watson A. Bowes, Jr., M.D.
University of North Carolina

Bowes is Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine, and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. His major professional interests have included care of women with high-risk pregnancies and ethical issues in obstetrics and gynecology.

Linda A. Bradley, Ph.D.
Centers for Disease Control

Bradley is an Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine Career Development Awardee in the Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention at the CDC. She is certified in Clinical Biochemical/Molecular Genetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics. Her research interests have included evaluation of genetic screening tests/testing algorithms and risk assessment tools, and genetics education for primary care providers.

Alta Charo, J.D.
University of Wisconsin Law School

Charo is the Elisabeth S. Wilson – Bascom Professor of Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, jointly appointed to the medical school and the law school. Her teaching includes bioethics, biotechnology policy, food and drug law, reproductive rights, and torts. She currently serves on the National Academy of Science Board on Life Sciences.

Eric Cohen
Ethics and Public Policy Center

Cohen is the Director of the Biotechnology and American Democracy Program and Editor of the New Atlantis, a journal on technology and society. He serves as a senior consultant for the President's Council on Bioethics.

Ronald Cole-Turner, M.Div., Ph.D.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Cole-Turner is a professor and holds the H. Parker Sharp Chair of Theology and Ethics, a position that relates theology to developments in science and technology. He is active in various science and religious organizations, having played a central role in organizing the International Society for Science and Religion.

Chai Feldblum, J.D.
Georgetown University Law Center

Feldblum is a law professor and founder and Director of the Federal Legislation Clinic. She engages in scholarly work and practical advocacy in the areas of disability rights, lesbian and gay rights, and health and social welfare legislation.

Kevin FitzGerald, SJ, Ph.D.
Georgetown University Medical Center

FitzGerald is the David P. Lauler Chair in Catholic Health Care Ethics and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology. He serves as a consultant to the March of Dimes and the United States Catholic Conference, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.

Vanessa Gamble, M.D., Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Gamble is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and Deputy Director for Training and Education at the Morgan-Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. She also is a member of the board of directors of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, and has served as Vice President, Community and Minority Programs, Association of American Medical Colleges.

Mark Hughes, M.D., Ph.D.
Wayne State University School of Medicine

Hughes is Professor and Director of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. His research focuses on developmental biology of the human embryo, preimplantation and reproductive genetics, and molecular and cytogenetic diagnostic technology development.

Anne Drapkin Lyerly, M.D.
Duke University Medical Center

Lyerly is Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her scholarly and teaching interests focus primarily on bioethics and health policy, specifically issues regarding women's health, reproductive medicine, and applications of feminist theory.

C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D.
Trinity International University

Mitchell is Associate Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture. He serves as a Senior Fellow with The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and is a consultant on biomedical and life issues with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Rabbi Edward Reichman, M.D.
Montefiore Medical Center

Reichman is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Montefiore, as well as Assistant Professor of Philosophy and History of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. Reichman's research focuses on the interface between medical history and Jewish Law.

Patrick Terry
PXE International

Terry is co-founder of PXE International, a dynamic international lay organization that initiates, funds, and coordinates worldwide biomedical research. He is also president of the International Genetic Alliance, and co-founder and director of consumer advocacy at Genomic Health, Inc.

The Genetics and Public Policy Center is a part of the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University and is funded through a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The mission of the Genetics and Public Policy Center is to create the environment and the tools needed by decision makers in both the private and public sectors to carefully consider and respond to the challenges and opportunities that arise from scientific advances in genetics.



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