• Building a GE3LS Architecture
CAE/BC BioLibrary Project: Guidelines, Protocols and Policies
Currently, there is no Canadian legislation specific to biobanks. National and international guidelines, case law, and federal/provincial laws drafted for other purposes and often in conflict with public interests (better health outcomes) and researchers needs (access to high-quality tissues and data) litter the landscape, leaving unresolved serious concerns involving informed consent, confidentiality, secondary use of samples, and data and benefit sharing (Swede, 2007; Cambon-Thomsen, 2004). This project will address this policy “confusion” by building on original work by the Centre for Applied Ethics and the BC BioLibrary in the area of biobanks and deliberative democracy.
Applied Genomics Innovation Projects
- Genomic Studies of Explosives Biodegradation
- Genomic Approaches to Microbial Community Monitoring as a Forest Management Tool
- The Development of Genomic Tools for Monitoring and Improving Passive Mitigation of Mine Drainage
Developing Ethical and Regulatory Guidelines for Research on the Human Microbiome and its Applications: Speaking to the Experts and Stakeholders
Research on the human microbiome and its potential applications have fundamental differences to other human health research in terms of legal and ethical implications. Whereas most medicinal drugs prescribed in clinical settings do not have an effect beyond the individual patient, the use of microbes in clinical settings may also have a direct physical impact on members of the patient’s family or community. Developing a deeper understanding of the human microbiome may lead to interventions that target public as well as individual health. In addition, given that human microbiota are much easier to manipulate than the human genome, the number of potential applications arising from human microbiome research may well dwarf that of research on the human genome.
In this project, we will begin the process of collating and critically analysing the diversity of views and positions on human microbiome research and its applications. The project will focus on interviews with experts and stakeholders, such as scientists specializing in microbiology, genomics and related fields, disability advocates, clinicians, and public health officials. Ideally, this work will form the foundation for a follow up project that would focus on conducting larger deliberative engagements with members of the public informed by principles from deliberative democracy.