Georgia CTSA & Winship Cancer Institute Offers Collaborative Research Ethics Consultation Service

The Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Collaborative of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) consortium, funded by the National Institutes of Health, maintains a clinical research ethics service nationwide, including the Georgia CTSA’s Regulatory Knowledge & Support (RKS) program.

The consultancy features RKS leader Rebecca Pentz, PhD, professor of Research Ethics, Emory School of Medicine, as an available expert. She performs empirical ethics research on topics most pertinent to the Winship Cancer Institute, namely early drug development, with emphases on informed consent, biobanking, return of results, and genetic testing. “The NIH Bioethics Consultation Service is a very exciting opportunity to run difficult cases by some of the best in the field. Research ethical dilemmas, such as those featured in the Georgia CTSA Ethical Dilemmas in Scientific Research and Professional Integrity, and the ones used in past articles in Nature are examples of what we address,” said Pentz.

This collaborative research ethics service handles referrals from any Emory, MSM, UGA, or Georgia Tech faculty/staff/student. The referral itself must come from the research ethics consultant, who will decide to either handle the case or ask for the expert national group to weigh-in. The service acts as an advisor, only trying to support the local ethicist and researcher. Pentz and John Banja, PhD, professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Medical Ethicist, Center for Ethics, Emory University, serve as the research ethics consultants.

If you have a research ethics question or are pondering a research ethics dilemma, confidential discussions and non-binding advice are available. Call or email Banja at 404-712-4804/jbanja@emory.edu or call/text/email Pentz at 404-831-1758/rpentz@emory.edu.