June 2018

Greenwall Faculty Scholars Class of 2021

Paul P. Christopher, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. His project is “An Updated Empirically-informed Ethical Framework for Clinical Research Involving Prisoners”.

Current regulations for prison research seek to prevent exploitation and coercion. Yet they also hinder science that may address serious health problems prisoners face and fail to provide key protections. Dr. Christopher aims to develop a comprehensive ethical framework that adequately protects prisoners while advancing needed research that benefits them. He also aims to develop a tool for investigators and IRBs that facilitates research planning and conduct.

Govind Persad, PhD, JD is focusing his research on health care systems. His project is “Evaluating and Rethinking Financial Risk Protection in Health Care Systems: Framework Development and Analysis of Contemporary Health Insurance Options”.

Health care systems increasingly aim to protect people against financial as well as health risks. Professor Persad’s project will address three questions: (1) Which financial risks should health systems protect against? (2) Why should they protect against those risks? (3) How should they protect against them? This project aims to answer the first two questions by examining how potential definitions of financial risk differ and how they connect with ethical values. It then aims to answer the third by using legal and policy analysis.

Andrew Peterson, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University. His project is “The Ethics of Severe Brain Injury”.

Professor Peterson’s project engages ethical and policy issues regarding the use of functional neuroimaging to evaluate patients with severe brain injury. It is designed to be responsive to, and integrated with, cutting-edge clinical neuroscience. The project aims to improve clinical care for brain-injured patients, advance ethical and policy practices, and inform broader research programs in the science of consciousness.

Natalie Ram, JD is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore. Her project is “Forensic Biobanking: Investigating Law Enforcement Use of Genetic Biobanks”.

Little is known about how, and how frequently, criminal investigators gain access to genetic data held in clinical, research, or commercial biobanks, but there are documented examples of such access. Professor Ram’s project studies forensic use of genetic biobank materials and data through theoretical, analytical, and empirical lenses to determine when such use is problematic, where existing law leaves gaps in biobank privacy protections, and how those gaps may best be remedied by policy makers.