It is possible that some of your cells may be stored for future research.
Today, scientists use living human cells, or biological information derived from human cells, not only for testing new drugs and medical materials, but also for advancing understanding of genetic factors in disease. Since the late 1990s biobanks have become a key resource, supporting many types of contemporary research, including genomics and personalized medicine.
Tissues and cells from millions of individuals have been "bio-banked" or saved in collections of human biological material. One estimate puts the number of stored specimens at nearly 350 million. Recent articles point out the ethical, legal, and social challenges raised by the advent of biobanks, including the fairness of collecting donations from vulnerable populations, providing informed consent to donors, and the privacy and security of donors who participate.
As part of the University of Michigan-Flint "Common Read" program featuring Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, panelists will discuss "bio-banking" in relation to biomedical research, ethical dilemmas, and public debates and policies.
The discussion will take place October 9 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Room 111, French Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. David Gordon, M.D., Dean, School of Health Professions and Sciences, University of Michigan-Flint; Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan School of Medicine-Ann Arbor
Dr. Scott Roberts, Ph.D, Associate Professor, School of Public Health; Director, Public Health Genetics Program, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Dr. Sharon Kardia, Ph.D, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor