The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages grant applications for research to anticipate, analyze, and address the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of the discovery and use of new information and technologies from human genetic and genomic research. This announcement is made together with 8 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*
The publication of an accurate, comprehensive sequence of the human genome in April 2003 marked the completion of the international human genome project. The biomedical research community is now interpreting this fundamental source of knowledge about human biology and developing new approaches for applying genomic technologies and information to improving human health throughout the lifespan. In the next few years, people will have to seriously consider numerous ethical, legal, and social questions raised by the availability and use of this information, and then formulate and implement policies to address many of them. Proactive and sustained efforts will be needed to ensure that the potential benefits of these new technologies are maximized and potential harms minimized.
Examples of research areas of interest include: intellectual property issues surrounding access to and use of genetic information; ethical, legal, and social factors that influence the translation of genetic information to improved human health; issues surrounding the conduct of genetic research; issues surrounding the use of genetic information and technologies in non-health care settings; the impact of genomics on concepts of race, ethnicity, kinship, and individual and group identity; the implications, for both individuals and society, of uncovering genomic contributions to “normal” human traits and behaviors; and how different individuals, cultures, and religious traditions view the ethical boundaries for the uses of genomics.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Robert Finkelstein, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2143, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-402-1501; e-mail: email@example.com.
*For a full list of supporting NIH components and a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-04-050.html.