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Dr. Parker’s talk will explore the moral world of the contemporary genetics profession at a key moment in its development. In particular, the talk will focus on the relationships between the well-established and reasonably stable moral commitments underpinning ideas of ‘good practice’ in contemporary clinical genetics –- such as those to the care of both the patient and the family -– and the ways in which these commitments and the practices which support them, can emerge as ethically problematic for genetics professionals on account of the complexities of family life, technological innovation, and shifting institutional boundaries.


Michael Parker is a Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford. His main research interest is in the ethical and social dimensions of collaborative global health research. He leads the ethics programmes of the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN) which carries out genomic research into severe malaria in childhood at 24 sites in 21 countries (funded by the Welcome trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health as part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative). He also leads the ethics programme of the MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health and is the Principal Investigator of the Collaborative Global Health Research Ethics Network (funded by a Welcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Enhancement Award).

Since 2001, Parker has coordinated the Genetics Club, a national ethics forum for health professionals and genetics laboratory staff in the United Kingdom to discuss the ethical issues arising in their day-to-day practice and to share good practice. This provides the background to Parker’s other main research interest, which is in the ethical aspects of the clinical use of genetics.

Two of Parker’s most recent publications are “Ethical Issues in Human Genomics Research in Developing Countries” (with Janita de Vries, Susan Bull, Ogobara Doumbo, Muntaser Ibrahim, Odile Mercarau-Puijalon) (2011), and “Working with Concepts: The Role of Community in International Collaborative Biomedical Research” (with Vicki Marsh, DM Kamuya, and Sassy Molyneux) (2011).

Read more about Michael Parker.


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