Debra Mathews

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Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Mathews, Debra

Dr. Mathews is the Assistant Director for Science Programs for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and Affiliate Faculty in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Mathews earned her BS in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University and PhD in genetics from Case Western Reserve University, where she earned a concurrent Master’s degree in bioethics. She completed post-doctoral fellowships in both genetics, and bioethics and health policy.

Within the Berman Institute, Dr. Mathews is responsible for overseeing the Stem Cell Policy and Ethics program and the Program in Ethics and Brain Sciences, as well as other Institute initiatives in policy and ethics related to biomedical research and emerging technologies, including genetics and synthetic biology. Dr. Mathews’s research interests focus on the intersection of science, ethics and public policy.

Wed July 10 | 11:00 - 1:00 | Plenary Session
ABSTRACT: Ethics and governance of emerging biotechnologies: Lessons from regenerative medicine and genetics

Just as the founders of a scientific field are responsible for laying the experimental groundwork for that field, so too do they have a responsibility for laying the ethics and governance groundwork. As synthetic biology grows and matures as a field, it can learn from other areas of biomedicine about how early decisions can shape downstream development and use. In this talk, I will draw on the experience of the regenerative medicine and genetics communities for lessons for today’s synthetic biologists.