Bradley Malin Leads $4M NIH Center Grant in Genetics and Data Ethics

(from this press release)


Researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have received a four-year, $4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new center for the study of privacy concerns associated with the use of genomic information, the NIH announced today, May 17.

The Vanderbilt Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings will examine the likelihood that lapses in protecting genomic information allow people to be identified, how people perceive such risks, and how effective legal and policy efforts are in reducing them.

"We're really broadening our horizons to think about how history and public opinion and literature affect the way individuals and communities think about privacy concerns," said Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D., the grant's co-principal investigator with Bradley Malin, Ph.D.

"Ultimately the goal is to develop policy recommendations that address the complexity of what's at stake," said Clayton, the Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, and a nationally recognized expert on ethics, law and medicine.

Vanderbilt's is one of four grants awarded through the Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEER) program of the National Human Genome Research Institute to address questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information.

The other awardees are Johns Hopkins University, University of Utah and University of Oklahoma.

The Vanderbilt effort will be truly "trans-institutional," said Malin, associate professor of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science and an expert on genomic information privacy issues.

Faculty members from more than a dozen academic departments at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will be involved.

Additional details available in an NIH press release.