News » Professor, Shawneequa Callier, and Research Team Receive NIH Grant

Professor, Shawneequa Callier, and Research Team Receive NIH Grant

to Study Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Surrounding Personalized Genomic Medicine

WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2011)--Shawneequa Callier, J.D., assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, is part of a team of researchers that was awarded a $710,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The two-year project will focus on the legal, ethical, and social issues raised by comparative effectiveness research on personalized genomic medicine (PGM), and will yield a set of points to consider when designing, conducting, interpreting, and disseminating this research so that it can be carried out in an ethical, legal, and socially appropriate manner. The rest of her team consists of law and medicine professors from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

“PGM is expected to become an increasingly important tool for improving the quality and efficiency of care in the future and it is important that such research will be carried out in a socially responsible way,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., interim vice provost for Health Affairs and dean of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Professor Callier’s work is important because it will identify the relevant ethical, legal, and social issues that may impact comparative effectiveness research.”

Before joining the GW faculty, Callier was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL) which is an NIH-funded Center for Excellence in Ethical Legal and Social Issues and is housed in the Bioethics Department at Case Western Reserve University. It was there that she met her colleagues and began to perform background research for the grant. She also conducted a pilot study that was used in the grant application which demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed study as well as highlight some of the issues that the study might address.

“While much work has been done on the ethical, legal, and social issues of PGM, little work has been done to apply this knowledge to the design, conduct, and translation of comparative effectiveness research on PGM,” said Callier. “Our project will evaluate the design and conduct of CER studies on PGM therapies and interventions, and provide guidance on how to abide by the specific ethical, legal, and social issues raised by this type of research.”

Professor Callier received her J.D. from Georgetown University and practiced law for two and half years before her fellowship at CGREAL.