The Challenge of Informed Consent in Times of Controversy

Friday, November 13, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center (map)

Video >

Does informed consent convey different meanings depending on who invokes the term? When do we know that consent is informed? What are human research subjects entitled to know before, during, and after agreeing to participate in clinical trials? These questions gain further urgency In the wake of recent controversy over the use of fetal tissue in human research. Federal legislation has long supported such research, but now there are calls to halt such studies. What impacts might pushback on fetal tissue research have on scientific development of vaccines, research on Alzheimer's Disease, or other medical advancements?

The 2015 Stem Cell Symposium considers these important questions and many others. The symposium tackles issues concerning the roles of law, science, technology, ethics, and society in the production and promotion of scientific knowledge through human research. Hosted by the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and the School of Law at the University of California Irvine, this meeting queries whether the FDA and other government agencies should intensify the regulation of human subject research and establish enforcement standards. These issues deserve urgent address, particularly in the wake of patients forum shopping for stem cell therapies and being injured in the process. However, does this signify that the federal government is obligated to step in or should the market self-regulate this trend?

This symposium is a culmination of an ongoing project investigating human subject research protections in stem cell clinical trials. The investigation arises from concerns about the informed consent process used in these types of studies and the adequacy of information sharing between pharmaceutical companies, research trial sites, principal investigators, human research subjects, and the public in general. Speakers are organized along three themes: law, ethics, and science. Full Event Schedule (PDF) here >

Sponsored by: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, UCI Office of Research, UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, UCI Medical Humanities Initiative, UC Humanities Research Institute, UCI Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Center for Biotechnology & Global Health Policy, UCI School of Law

Register online >



Featured Speakers

  • Patricia J. Williams

    Patricia J. Williams

    Keynote Speaker

    Columbia Law School
    James L. Dohr Professor of Law

  • Michele Goodwin

    Michele Goodwin

    UC Irvine School of Law
    Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director, Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy

  • Sidney H. Golub

    Sidney H. Golub

    UC Irvine School of Medicine
    Research Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine
    Director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center

  • Aileen Anderson

    Aileen Anderson Ph.D.

    UC Irvine School of Medicine
    Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Associate Director, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Center; Director, Christopher Reeve Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Core Facility

  • Brian Cummings

    Brian Cummings, Ph.D.

    UC Irvine School of Medicine
    Associate Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Anatomy & Neurobiology

  • Image of Jeffrey Kahn

    Jeffrey Kahn, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Johns Hopkins University
    Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, Deputy Director for Policy and Administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

  • Image of Deborah Zoe Laufer

    Deborah Zoe Laufer

    Playwright, author of Informed Consent

  • Laurie Zoloth

    Laurie Zoloth, Ph.D.

    Northwestern University
    Professor of Religious Studies, Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Feinberg School of Medicine; Director of Graduate Studies


  • Marcy Darnofsky

    Marcy Darnovsky, Ph.D.

    Center for Genetics and Society
    Executive Director

  • Geoff Lomax

    Geoff Lomax, Ph.D.

    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
    Senior Officer for Medical Standards

  • Larry Couture

    Larry A. Couture, Ph.D.

    City of Hope
    Sr. Vice President, Center for Applied Technology, Beckman Research Institute

  • Radhika Rao

    Radhika Rao, J.D.

    UC Hastings College of the Law
    Professor of Law

  • Maxwell Gregg Bloche

    Maxwell Gregg Bloche, M.D., J.D.

    Georgetown University Law Center
    Professor of Law
    Co-Director, Georgetown-Johns Hopkins Joint Program in Law and Public Health