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Analysing the genetic material of disease causing micro-organisms (‘pathogen sequencing’) has the power to radically improve our ability to prevent and control infectious disease. Pathogen sequencing is a cutting edge technology that can be used to diagnose infection, track and understand the spread of disease, and predict new outbreaks. This means health systems can respond more quickly to outbreaks, be more prepared, and treat individual patients more effectively.

These technologies cannot be effective unless we think seriously about how they should be implemented, and the benefits and risks they pose. Research at the Centre focuses on identifying and addressing the practical ethical issues arising in research and practice in pathogen genomics. We work in close collaboration with scientific researchers based at the Big Data Institute and their international partners.

RESEARCH PROJECTS:

Johnson, S. University of Oxford Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Individual Career Support Small award - ‘Addressing the ethical questions in genomic informed public health surveillance and outbreak investigation’

Johnson, S. & Nchangwi Munung, S. University of Oxford Africa Oxford (AfOx) Travel Grant – ‘Exploring the ethics of pathogen genomics research in Africa’.

Johnson, S & Slade, I. Brocher Foundation workshop grant – ‘Implementing genomic technologies into healthcare services – combining global perspectives’.

KEY OUTPUTS:

Johnson SB, Parker M (2019). The ethics of sequencing infectious disease pathogens for clinical and public health. Nat Rev Genet. 2019 Jun;20(6):313-315. doi: 10.1038/s41576-019-0109-3.

 

Image credit CDC on Unsplash

Research Team

Michael Parker

Centre Director

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Stephanie Johnson

Research Fellow

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