Translating cfDNA testing
I recently completed a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (R00HG006452) to investigate ethical and social issues in the translation of new genetic technologies from the lab to the clinic. This study specifically focuses on the case of prenatal cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening, which is popularly known as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
Studying the case of cfDNA screening as it is happening will help us understand how genetic technologies make the journey from concept to final product, and how they influence and are influenced by the interests of various stakeholders along the way.The long-term goal is to learn how and when to intervene in order to help produce technologies that are ethically and socially valuable.
This project began in 2012 and I am currently completing data analysis. It includes interviews with stakeholders (patients, clinicians, and others), and also supports my work on many different collaborative projects that explore ethical and social issues around prenatal cfDNA screening. The project concluded with focus groups in order to build a conceptual model of how and when to integrate ethical and social guidance into the translational pathway for new genetic technologies.
For more information about my collaborative work on prenatal cfDNA screening, please visit my group website, the Prenatal Information Research Consortium.