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[April 19,2010]

Cutting Edge Issues in Bioethics to be Explored April 22:

Conference Marks 20th Anniversary of the Division of Humanities in Medicine


Noted bioethicists and neuroscientists will participate in the “Cutting Edge Issues in Contemporary Bioethics” Conference at SUNY Downstate Medical Center on Thursday, April 22, from 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Alumni Auditorium, 395 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, New York. The conference celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Division of Humanities in Medicine at SUNY Downstate.  

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver the keynote address: “Do Your Duty and Roll Up Your Sleeves: The Ethics of Vaccine Mandates.” Also speaking will be James H. Jones, PhD, author of Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.

In afternoon sessions devoted to neuroethics, presenters will include Jonathan D. Moreno, PhD, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, whose talk is titled, “Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense.” Andre Fenton, PhD, associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate, will ask the question,  “Basic Neuroscience: A Platform on a Slippery Slope?”

Downstate’s Todd Sacktor, MD, professor of physiology and pharmacology and of neurology, will speak on “How to Erase and Enhance Your Long-Term Memories.” A roundtable discussion will follow, moderated by Stephen M. Goldfinger, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Downstate.

Ian L. Taylor, MD, PhD, senior vice president for biomedical research and dean of the College of Medicine, will welcome the attendees and Kathleen E. Powderly, PhD, CNM, acting director of the Division of Humanities in Medicine, will introduce the conference. Dr. Powderly is also chair of the Historical Symposia Subcommittee of the SUNY Downstate Sesquicentennial Committee. The conference is part of Downstate’s yearlong celebration of 150 years of providing medical education in Brooklyn and is generously supported by the John Conley Foundation for Ethics and Philosophy in Medicine.    

There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is encouraged. Please call 718-221-5323 to register. For more information, please call Dr. Powderly at 718-270-3322. 


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.