This Friday, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Director and Senior Research Scholar Maggie Little, along with colleagues Anne Lyerly, Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Rich Beigi, Associate Professor at the Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will speak at the Annual Global Health Conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, DC.
The panel, slated for 11:00 am – 12:30 pm on April 7th, is entitled “Confronting Pregnancy in Infectious Disease Epidemics: HIV/AIDS, the Zika Virus, and Beyond.” In it, the panelists will draw from work done on two grant-funded projects: one funded by the US National Institutes of Health and focused on HIV/AIDS, the other funded by the UK’s Wellcome Trust and focused on Zika and other public health emergencies. The panel will be moderated by Carleigh Krubiner, Project Director at the Berman Institute of Ethics of Johns Hopkins University, and a part of the core research team on both grants.
The official panel description reads:
Zika has highlighted the profound devastation that can result from infectious disease occurring in pregnancy. One critical challenge is the lack of quality evidence needed to guide clinicians’ and public health ministries’ decisions on the prevention and treatment of these diseases during pregnancy. Pregnant women are routinely excluded from research trials, for instance on dosing, safety, and ef cacy of microbicides, vaccines, and second-generation treatments. This panel of three experts will share ethical pathways to critically needed research in this population. With examples from HIV prevention research and Zika vaccine trials, the discussion will outline ethical approaches and creative trial designs.
This year’s conference is focused on “Healthy People, Healthy Ecosystems: Implementation, Leadership and Sustainability in Global Health,” according to organizers. The sponsoring organization is a DC-based organization of over over 145 academic institutions and other organizations from around the world engaged in addressing global health challenges, established in 2008 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.