The mission of the Research Ethics Program is to provide investigators, key personnel, and trainees with research collaboration, education, and consultation that address ethical issues in the design and conduct of translational and clinical research. We are primarily engaged in contributing to the CTSA's research ethics educational needs, and we provide consultation services for CTSA and other researchers facing ethical issues in planning or performing their studies. We also have research interests in identifying new and emerging ethical issues in translational research and are looking for collaborative opportunities to better understand this research paradigm.
Merz, Jon F., M.B.A, J.D., Ph.D.
Role: Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
The purpose of the Penn Research Ethics Consultation Service (RECS) is to provide expert advice and guidance to the Penn and CHOP community throughout the research process. Anyone involved in planning, design, proposal writing, review (IRB, IACUC, CTRMC), data collection and management, analysis, dissemination activities, and follow-up will be encouraged to draw on the RECS faculty to help avoid problems and anticipate and resolve ethical issues that may arise.
Any Penn faculty, staff, students, fellows, or other employees involved in planning, performing, or reporting research may request RECS consultation. It’s free, friendly, and fabulous.
This service will be provided in confidence; RECS faculty will not report noncompliance or other ethical or legal concerns to anyone. We will provide referrals to appropriate institutional officials if called for.
RECS faculty have knowledge covering a broad range of ethical and regulatory issues in human subjects research.
Research issues that might present particularly vexing or unresolved ethical conundrums include:
Involvement of vulnerable subjects, including:
• students, staff, fellows and residents;
• prisoners or anyone subject to police or court authority;
• those lacking decision-making capacity or involving surrogates
• other populations that lack the power to adequately protect themselves or are susceptible to manipulation due to dependence, resource constraints, or disenfranchisement
Novel experimental techniques
• Human Embryonic Stem (hES) or fetal cell transplants
• gene transfer
RECS faculty are willing to participate in meetings or lead educational seminars upon request."