Ethics Newsletters and News Archive

August 21, 2023

An archive appears below of past Division of Ethics newsletters with events, announcements, resources, updates and more!




December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

June 2023

May 2023

View the May 2023 Newsletter


  • The New York Times talks to Division Chief Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD about the ethics of pulling human DNA from the environment. 
  • Columbia Division of Ethics Associate Professor Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD, has authored two of the most-cited articles in the American Journal of Bioethics over the last three years.
  • The Division of Ethics is now on Instagram.

Events: TraineeHub - Publishing in Bioethics Journals: What You Need to Know, June 29th 2023, 12pm-1pm ET.

Positions: The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hiring for a one-year ELSI Visiting Scholar position.

April 2023

View the April 2023 Newsletter

News: The Hastings Center has published a new consensus report: "The Ethical Implications of Social and Behavioral Genomics". Columbia Division of Ethics Chief Sandra Soo-Jin Lee is a member of the report steering committee and working group.


  • Population Descriptors in Genomics Research - NHGRI DNA Day, April 24, 9am - 4:30pm ET.
  • "The Ethics of Inclusion: Conceptions of Diversity in Genomics” - Human Genomic Diversity and Medicine: Challenges and Solutions to Reduce Health Disparities, on May 22, 1:40 – 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Ethics Grand Rounds: Medicalizing and Criminalizing Mental Health - May 2, 12pm - 1pm ET. 
  • Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture: Moral Radicalism and Enhancement for Disability with NHGRI historian Christopher R. Donohue, PhD on April 25th, 4—5:30 p.m. ET.
  • Columbia CEER event: Exploring Origins and Impacts of Beliefs about Genetic Causation - May 18, 2—6 pm ET.


March 2023

View March 2023 Newsletter


  • NASEM has released a new report: Using Population Descriptors in Genetics and Genomics Research: A New Framework for an Evolving Field. The report was developed by The Committee on Use of Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry as Population Descriptors in Genomics Research, which included Sandra Soo-Jin Lee PhD. 
  • CERA and The Hastings Center are sponsoring a special issue of The Hastings Center Report. The special issue, entitled Envisioning a More Just Genomics.


  • Bioethics in Film: From Screen to Seminar, Aftershock - April 12, 2023 at 11:30 am ET
  • ELSI Friday Forum: Visual Storytelling in ELSI Research on April 14, 2023 at 12pm ET/ 9am PT.

February 2023

View February 2023 Newsletter


  • Division of Ethics Chief Sandra Soo-Jin Lee and Janet Shim, Chair of Sociobehavioral Sciences at UCSF, have been awarded a three year G13 Grant for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health from the National Library of Medicine at NIH. Their book project is entitled “Diversity in Practice: the Quest for Inclusion in Precision Medicine.” 
  • The Division of Ethics has a new page on LinkedIn.


  • PRIM&R webinar: Responsible Management and Sharing of American Indian/Alaska Native Participant Data under NIH Policy - February 21, 1 pm ET.
  • Ableism and (dis)trust: Disability Ethics and Inclusion in Precision Medicine Research - February 21st at 7 a.m. ET (12 p.m. GMT) in SR10, St Anne's College, Oxford University.
  • NIH Workshop: Using Public Engagement to Inform the Use of Data in Biomedical Research - February 27, 12 - 8pm ET (9am - 5pm PT).
  • Precision Medicine event: Health Data, Algorithms and Equity - March 1, 4 pm ET

Positions: The Division of Ethics is actively accepting and reviewing applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow

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December 2022

View December 2022 Newsletter


  • Columbia Division of Ethics Chief Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD has been appointed to the President's commission on the History of Race and Racism at Columbia University.
  • Division of Ethics Professor Maya Sabatello, PhD, LLB was interviewed by Clinical Trials Arena about her research into diversity in clinical trials.
  • Division Chief Sandra Soo-Jin Lee PhD, and Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD, Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at the School of Nursing, will be teaching "Building Interdisciplinary Research Models" in the Spring 2023 Semester.


  • Join CERA for the next series of ELSIconversations 2023 entitled Population Genetic Screening Programs: Ethical Considerations for Launching, Evaluating and Improving Population Genetic Screening Programs.
  • ELSI Friday Forum: Wrestling with Social and Behavioral Genomics - January 13th, 12:00-1:30 PM ET

Positions: The Division of Ethics is pleased to invite applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow whose research focuses on health equity and the ethical and social dimensions of emerging technologies.

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

July-August 2022

View July-August 2022 newsletter

News: Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD, was appointed to the Professional Practice and Social Implications Committee, a committee of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Projects and Grants: “Including Adults with Intellectual Disability in Precision Medicine Research - Project ENGAGE” with PIs: Katherine McDonald, PhD, and Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD.

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: “Decoloniality and Genetic Ancestry: Situating the “African Genome” with Alice Matimba, PhD, MS and Palwendé R. Boua, PhD, moderated by Henri-Michel Yéré, PhD, MA on September 9, 2022. 

New Staff: Shawna Benston, JD, MBE, MA joined the team as Program Director and David Lamb MSc, BSc joined as Communications Associate.

Job Openings: The Division of Ethics is seeking a full-time Program Administrator to support the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA).


June 2022

View June 2022 newsletter

News: The CERA statement against the weaponization of research was published. 

New Resources: ELSIcon2022 recordings of over 200 live and on-demand sessions are now available to watch.

Events: Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee spoke on “Ethics and Equity: Addressing Systemic Racism in the Genomics Research Ecosystem” in a special invited ESHG-ASHG Building Bridges session: First Do No Harm: Addressing Misuse of Genetic Data on June 13, 2022 | ELSI Friday Forum: “Impact of Dobbs Decision on ELSI Research and Practice” on June 17, 2022 with Michelle McGowan, PhD and Aarti Ramdaney, MS, CGC moderated by Kimberly Mutcherson, JD.

May 2022

View May 2022 newsletter

Events: Ethics Grand Rounds: “Anti-Racism in Medical Education: Addressing Barriers to Change” with Dr. Braddock and Dr. Monica Lypson, moderated by Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee on May 17, 2022 | The two day conference, “The Future of ELSI: Prediction and Intervention in Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics,” featured talks from Ethics Division faculty on May 12-13, 2022 | The Fifth ELSI Congress took place May 31-June 3, 2022.

April 2022

View April 2022 newsletter

Events: Ethics Grand Rounds: “Anti-Racism in Medical Education: Addressing Barriers to Change” with Dr. Braddock and Dr. Monica Lypson, moderated by Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee on May 17, 2022 | ELSI Friday Forum: “Addressing Algorithmic Harms: Practices and Provocations for Health AI” with I. Glenn Cohen, JD and Melissa McCradden, PhD, moderated by Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD on May 13, 2022.

March 2022

View March 2022 newsletter

Events: Day 1 of Future Directions in Genomics and Health Equity Research: Dr. Maya Sabatello hosted the panel "Moving Forward: From Health Disparities to Health Equity in Genomics" and an end-of-day discussion with Workshop Co-Chair Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee | The Fifth ELSI Congress was announced taking place June 1-3, 2022 | ELSI Friday Forum: “Balancing Data Privacy and Data Sharing: Normative and Technical Approaches” on April 8, 2022.


January 2022

View January 2022 newsletter

News: Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee was appointed by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to the Committee on Use of Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry as Population Descriptors in Genomics Research.

Projects and Grants: NIH Funding was available for Research and Capacity Building Efforts Related to Bioethical Issues.

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: “Genomic Imaginaries: Sparking Dialogue between ELSI and Literary Studies” with Lara Choksey, PhD and Lesley Larkin, PhD on February 11, 2022.


October 2021

View October 2021 newsletter

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: “Benefit-sharing and Pharmaceutical Development in Africa: What Does Equity Mean?” with Nchangwi Munung, PhD and Michèle Ramsay, PhD on November 12, 2021 | TraineeHub Career Pathways with Rene Sterling, PhD, MHA on Oct 29, 2022.

New Staff: Mika Caruncho, MSW, MPH joined our team as Research Associate and Dejda Collins, MA joined as Program Manager.

September 2021

View September 2021 newsletter

Projects and Grants: The CERA sought to support up to two new Working Groups at a level of up to $20,000 over two years. Initial proposals for CERA Working Groups were due October 15, 2021. 

Events: Ethics Grand Rounds: "Innovation for Equity: Fostering a More Democratic and Just Scientific Enterprise" by Dr. Alondra Nelson on September 23, 2021 | The Fifth ELSI Congress will take place on June 1-3, 2022 | ELSI Friday Forum: “Genomic Data Sharing: Putting Principles and Policy into Practice” from Heidi Rehm, PhD and Keolu Fox, PhD.

July-August 2021

View June-August 2021 newsletter

News: Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee was promoted to tenured full Professor of Medical Humanities and Ethics.

Projects and Grants: Pilot grant awards for Columbia faculty, post-docs, trainees, and graduate students were available, up to a maximum of $40,000.

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: “Remembering 9/11: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues with Using DNA for Disaster Victim Identification” on September 9, 2022 | Trainee Career Pathways with Alexis Walker, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Ethics, August 27, 2021. 

New Staff: Caitlin McMahon, PhD, MPH joined the team as Project Director.

June 2021

View June 2021 newsletter

Events: Ethics Grand Rounds: On September 23, 2021 Dr. Alondra Nelson presented the inaugural talk of the Ethics Grand Rounds series on Race and Biomedicine | ELSI Friday Forum, “Current Legal Challenges to Abortion: Implications for Prenatal Genetics” on July 9, 2021.

Job Openings: New positions were available including Program Manager for TEAMS and RKSER Initiatives and Research Associate.

May 2021

View May 2021 newsletter

New Resources: TraineeHub is an online community of students, trainees and early career scholars with an interest in ELSI research | ELSIhub Collections: “Realizing the Self-Determination Goals of Indigenous People in Genetics Research” and “Game of Bones: Power, Ethics, and Emerging Technology in Paleogenomics Research” 

News: The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) appointed Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP).

Projects and Grants: “Leveraging Tumor Registries & Pathology Specimens to Facilitate Genetic Testing & Traceback for Ovarian Cancer” PI: Jessica Ezzell Hunter, PhD; Site PI: Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD.

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: “Ethical Challenges in Novel Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease,” June 11, 2021.

April 2021

View April 2021 newsletter

New Resources: We are pleased to publish a new addition to the ELSIhub Collections series, Empirical Evaluation of Arts-Based Informational Aids for ELSI Issues in the Clinic and Beyond" 

New Staff: Dounya Alami-Nassif, MA, joined the division as Administrative Coordinator.

Events: ELSI Friday Forum: Nanibaa’ Garrison, PhD, moderated "Genomics and Data Sovereignty: Policy and Deliberative Approaches for Engaging Indigenous Communities" on May 14, 2021.

March 2021

View March 2021 newsletter

Events: ELSIconversations: “Identifying Best Practices for Clinical Genetics Delivery” was hosted on March 26, 2021 | ELSIconversations: “Issues at the Intersection of Identity and Genome Science” was hosted on April 2, 2021 | Webinar: “Structural Racism in the COVID-19 Pandemic” was hosted on March 29, 2021 with Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD.

February 2021

View February 2021 newsletter

New Resources: ELSIhub Collections are essential reading lists on emerging topics in ELSI, curated by expert Collection Editors paired with ELSI trainees.

Projects and Grants: “Organizational and Cultural Dynamics in Genomics Companies: Industry Engagement in Navigating Social and Ethical Issues” led by Alexis Walker, PhD | “Evidence-based Policy Recommendations to Address Bioethical Challenges in the Return of Genetic Results in Nephrology” led by Ali Gharavi and Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD.

Events: ELSIconversations presented a series of six themed one-hour networking discussions on ELSI research starting February 26, 2021. ELSI Friday Forum continued on March 12, 2021.

January 2021

View January 2021 newsletter

New Faculty: Alexis Walker, PhD joined the Division of Ethics as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics. 

Projects and Grants: Drs. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee and Noemie Elhadad were named Columbia Collaboratory Fellows and received a Collaboratory Grant to support the development and teaching of a new multidisciplinary course | Dr. Maya Sabatello received a four-year grant from NHGRI and NIH entitled “Disability, Diversity and Trust in Precision Medicine Research: Stakeholders Engagement”.

Events: The 5th ELSI Congress will be held at Columbia on June 1-3, 2022 | The next ELSI Friday Forum explores the ethical issues of infectious disease and genomics during the pandemic on Friday, February 12, 2021.

Honors: Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee was voted President-elect of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors (ABPD).

December 2020

View December 2020 newsletter

New Resources:, a publication database of ELSI research, tools, and more. Projects and Grants: The Ethics of Inclusion team led by Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee was awarded a new NIH bioethics supplement for the study "Understanding the Expectations and Needs of Diverse Communities for Navigating Research Results.”

Funding Opportunities: The NIH announced a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for administrative supplements to support research on ethical considerations related to biomedical research.

Events: CERA's ELSI Friday Forum explored the ethical issues of biobanking during the pandemic hosted on January 8, 2021.

New Faculty and Staff: Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD; Jessica Martucci, MBE, PhD; Angelica Johnson, MS; Jon Zaikowski, MS; and Emily Vasquez, MPH, PhD(c) joined the team.