Featured Projects

These are just a sample of the research being done at the CWRU Department of Bioethics.

Use of “Nudges” in Clinical Trial Recruitment

Maxwell Mehlman and Aaron Goldenberg, along with colleagues at the University of Utah will identify use of different types of recruitment nudges in clinical trials with varying ratios of risk (minimal risk vs. more than minimal risk) and benefit (direct benefit vs. no direct benefit) to human subjects. They will then examine the effects of a set of nudges on recruitment into a minimal risk interview study for healthy adult volunteers and views of participants on the use of nudges for themselves and others. Staff includes Ben Schwan, Roselle Ponsaran and Jewels Watts.

Patient Supported Approaches to Gene Editing (PaSAGE)

Marsha Michie is a co-investigator on a study led by Megan Allyse two important stakeholder voices have been largely left out of conversations around the future of p, that will address two key stakeholders of prenatal gene editing in the US context, the patients and families that might be benefitted or harmed by the translation of prenatal gene editing and the scientists and clinicians who would be on the front lines of clinical translation were it to move forward. The study will assess potential governance approaches internationally and explores how they may be implemented in an United States context. Staff include Sabina Rubeck and McKenna Horstmann.

The Guardian Ad Litem Project

Eileen Anderson leads this study to describe and characterize the experiences of stakeholders in the guardian ad litem system, and to assess challenges and gaps in the current system. 

Emerging Challenges in Newborn Screening: Benefits and Harms of Receiving Uncertain Prognoses After NBS

Aaron Goldenberg, along with Beth Tarini of National Children's Hospital, leads this project.  Staff include Roselle Ponsaran and McKenna Horstmann.

Peers in Mental Health: Role Boundaries and Ethics

Julia Knopes is the Principal Investigator for this grant funded in 2021 by the Greenwall Foundation.  Other investigators include Aaron Goldenberg and Cynthia Kabu from the Cleveland Clinic.  This project explores how “peers” (people with mental illness who provide services to fellow individuals in recovery) make sense of their complex role as both a care provider and a person with their own health needs.

Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project (CAAPP)

Aaron Goldenberg and Marsha Michie are co-investigators on this project, led by Erika Trapl.  

The goal is to increase the number of Black men who are screened for prostate cancer, which is the best way to catch prostate cancer early. Screening tests look for elevated or continuously rising levels of PSA — proteins produced by the prostate gland — that can signal the cancer’s possible presence.  Staff include Roselle Ponsaran and Xavier Williams.

Learning to Care for Dying Patients: A Multi-Outcome Study of Humanities Interventions

Erin Lamb is the Principal Investigator, and Ryan Jenkins, a UH Resident in Pediatrics, is a co-investigator, for this study funded by the AAMC.  

Re-engineering Decision-making Capacity

In this set of projects, Ben Schwan and Daniel Fogal from the NYU Center for Bioethics criticize the standard conception of decision-making capacity and propose a reconception of decision-making capacity that better captures the relevant ethical considerations.  

Framework for Advances in Reprogenomics Ethics & Regulation (FAIRER)

Marsha Michie and Ruth Farrell are the Principal Investigators for this project funded by NIH in 2021.  FAIRER aims to build a framework to ethically and socially guide research in reproductive genomic interventions, with particular concern for the interests of pregnant people  with their potential children.  Staff include Roselle Ponsaran, Sabina Rubeck, and Harlie Custer.  

Prenatal Preparation: Actions and Results (PREPARE)

Marsha Michie is the Principal Investigator for this project, funded by NIH in 2020, which examines how prenatal preparation is understood after a genetic result and build a conceptual model of preparation to guide future research, practice and policy development.  Staff include Sabina Rubeck and Jewels Watts.

Diversity and Cultural Humility

Sana Loue is studying diversity and cultural humility in the helping professions.

Neighborhood Family Practice

Laura Morello, Aaron Goldenberg, Kaitlynn Craig, Marsha Michie, and Roselle Ponsaran have worked with Neighborhood Family Practice, a local federally qualified non-profit community health center, over the years on a variety of research studies which have included areas such as genetic research and social determinants of health.

Eugenics in Imperial Russia/Early Soviet Eras

Sana Loue is conducting research related to the eugenics movement during late imperial period in Russia and early Soviet period and its implications for current genetic technologies.

Utility of Genomic Sequencing in Community Care Contexts

Aaron Goldenberg is a co-investigator on this study led by Kyle Brothers at the University of Louisville, which was funded by NIH in 2021.  Staff includes Roselle Ponsaran.  

Medical Decision Making in the Burn Unit

Monica Gerrek, Marcie Lambrix, and Anna Goff, along with Charles Yowler at MetroHealth and Anjay Khandelwal at Akron Children's Hospital, lead a collaborative qualitative research project that aims to understand patient's decision making capacity after a severe burn injury via in-depth interviews with burn survivors.

Their work was presented at the  2022 American Burn Association conference.

Burn Database

Monica Gerrek, Marcie Lambrix, and Anna Goff have developed an ongoing systematic review of the literature on ethical issues in burn care.