Why RCR? Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop Howard University February 8, 2011
What is RCR? • Guidelines and Regulations • Plagiarism • Institutional Review Board (IRB) / Human and Animal Subjects • Ethical Reasoning / Conflict of Interest • Data Management • Authorship and Publication Practices / Collaborative Research • Mentorship • Informed Consent • Intellectual Property
Why is RCR Important? • Federal Regulations • University Policies • Best Practices • Legal and Ethical Consequences of Noncompliance • University • Business • Individual • Society
What’s the right thing to do? • Examples to consider: • Michael Sandel, Justice • Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” • “Quick and Dirty” Thesis/Dissertation • “Perfect” Thesis/Dissertation
Michael Sandel, Justice http://www.youtube.com/embed/kBdfcR-8hEY
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” • February 1, 1951, Baltimore resident Henrietta Lacks diagnosed with cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins University Hospital • February 9, 1951, radium treatment begun; another tissue sample taken and given to Dr. George Gey, head of tissue culture research at JHUH • Within days, Henrietta Lacks’s cancer cells had multiplied “like nothing anyone had seen”.
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” They were “immortal” and Dr. Gey shared them with research colleagues around world--and beyond October 4, 1951, Henrietta Lacks died at JHU Hospital; she was 31 years old October 4, 1951, Dr. George Gey appeared on national television and discussed the possibility that with “HeLa” cells research could find a cure for cancer
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” 1975, Henrietta’s daughter-in-law learned from someone in a Washington, DC laboratory that the cells were still alive HeLa cells had become standard reference cells
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” • Used in research that led to Salk polio vaccine in 1950s • Cancer research • Study of HIV-AIDS • The effects of radiation and toxic substances • Gene mapping
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” Moral and Ethical Issues • Informed Consent Not uncommon at the time that researchers did not inform subjects or patients about the nature of their investigations, or (like in the Tuskegee experiment), of their potential consequences. Guidelines and regulations have been established to assure informed consent.
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” Moral and Ethical Issues • Compensation What is morally or legally due to a person if something of commercial value is developed from their cells? Unresolved issue being debated now by medical ethicists.
Henrietta Lacks and “Immortal Cells” Does it matter that Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman of modest means, many of whose family members today lack health insurance? Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Random House (2010) http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/0400web/01.html
“Quick and Dirty” Dissertation Plagiarism is a real problem with real consequences—at Howard University and elsewhere • An outstanding Howard student submitted their application for oral defense to the Graduate School • Subsequently student’s department asked that the defense be postponed pending an investigation of plagiarism
“Quick and Dirty” Dissertation Confronted with the facts the student confessed and expressed regret The student’s advisor, committee, and departmental graduate faculty requested that he be dismissed from the Graduate School The student was dismissed from the Graduate School and notified that he cannot return to graduate study at Howard University
“Perfect Dissertation” • Student at another university received PhD degree and published their research results • Other researchers could not replicate the findings • Finally it was determined that the student had falsified results in order to make their findings more dramatic • PhD degree was withdrawn
Why is RCR Important? • Legal and Ethical Consequences of Noncompliance • University • Business • Individual • Society
Thank you! Charles L. Betsey, Ph.D. Interim Dean Howard University Graduate School firstname.lastname@example.org