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J. Scott Roberts, PhD, received an R01 grant from NHGRI for a project that will describe the characteristics of consumers of DTC genetic services and to evaluate the psychological and behavioral impact of these services.

J. Scott Roberts, PhD, received an R01 award from NHGRI for a multi-site, randomized controlled clinical trial to examine the impact and efficacy of a genetic risk assessment program that educates people with mild cognitive impairment about their chances of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Joel Howell, MD, PhD


Joel D. Howell is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of Internal Medicine (Medical School), Health Management and Policy (School of Public Health), and History (College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), as well as the Victor C. Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine. He received his M.D. at the University of Chicago, and stayed at that institution for his internship and residency in internal medicine. At the University of Pennsylvania, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and received his Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science.

Research Interests: 
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The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is sponsoring a pilot R01 Boot Camp program in conjunction with the Medical School's "Mentored Research Academy: R01 Boot Camp." Seven junior faculty were selected to be coached by two mentors during the 12-month program. Sarah Hawley (Dept. of Internal Medicine) and Mark Igen (Dept. of Psychiatry) are serving as mentors.

Registration is now open for the April 25, 2017 CBSSM Research Colloquium & Bishop Lecture in Bioethics. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, as it will help us to estimate numbers for catering and lunch. Please RSVP by April 18th.

The keynote address is the Bishop Lecture in Bioethics, an endowed lectureship made possible by a gift from the estate of Ronald C. and Nancy V. Bishop.  Norman Daniels, PhD will present the Bishop Lecture with a talk entitled: “Universal Access vs Universal Coverage: Two models of what we should aim for."

Norman Daniels, PhD is Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Population Ethics and Professor of Ethics and Population Health in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Location: Great Lakes Room, Palmer Commons, 100 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Click here to register for the Colloquium!

Click here for the Colloquium Schedule and Presentation Abstracts.

Bioethics Grand Rounds -Scott Grant MD, MBE

Wed, May 24, 2017, 12:00pm
UH Ford Auditorium

Scott Grant, MD, MBE, University of Chicago: "Dealing with complications and poor outcomes and surgical futility"

Scott Grant, MD, MBE, University of Chicago

Abstract: Surgical complications are ubiquitous and effect all surgeons. This talk will review how surgical ethics is distinct from traditional medical ethics in that surgeons have a greater and more direct responsibility for the outcomes of their patients than medical doctors. It will review how surgery harms before healing and the importance of weighing risks and benefits in decision making. Ways of assessing perioperative risk and preventing complications will be reviewed. Strategies for coping with complications will be described. Human error theory and the "Swiss cheese" model of human error will briefly be discussed. The SPIKES protocol for breaking bad news will be reviewed. Different definitions of futility will be described. Various procedural approaches to futility disputes will be analyzed. The best tool in approaching challenging "futility" situations will be described - open and honest communication between the patient or surrogate and the physician.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health

Funding Years: 2012-2017

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) occurs in many patients with intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Recent studies have found IVH is a predictor of poor outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage and that hydrocephalus develops in 55% intracerebral hemorrhage patients with IVH. Hydrocephalus is also a major problem in SAH. Early hydrocephalus occurs in 20-50% SAH patients and is associated with poor clinical grade. However, the mechanisms of IVH-induced hydrocephalus are not well understood. Lysis of erythrocytes results in iron accumulation in the brain and causes brain damage after intracerebral hemorrhage. However, the role of erythrocyte lysis and iron toxicity in IVH-induced brain injury and hydrocephalus has still to be elucidated. Erythrocyte lysis after IVH may start very early. Hemoglobin released from red blood cells reaches its peak concentration by the second day following injection of blood into the cerebrospinal fluid of dogs. Hemoglobin release, from lysis of erythrocytes in human intracranial hemorrhage, increases during the first few days. Erythrocyte lysis appears to result from either depletion of intracellulr energy reserves or activation of the complement system. We have established an IVH model in rats and long-term ventricular dilatation has been observed. Recently we have found that hydrocephalus occurs in a model of SAH which results in intraventricular blood. Our preliminary data have demonstrated: 1) Intraventricular injection of autologous whole blood causes iron accumulation, hydrocephalus, neuronal death and brain tissue loss in the hippocampus; 2) Intraventricular injection of lysed erythrocytes rather than packed erythrocytes causes hydrocephalus by 24 hours; 3) Heme oxygenase-1 and ferritin levels are increased significantly in the hippocampus and periventricular areas following IVH; 4) Intraventricular injection of iron alone can also result in acute hydrocephalus; 5) Deferoxamine, an iron chelator, reduces IVH-induced hydrocephalus and hippocampal tissue loss. In this application, we propose to test the following specific aims: 1) Determine whether erythrocyte lysis and hemoglobin release cause hydrocephalus and neuronal death following IVH; 2) Determine whether complement inhibition reduces erythrocyte lysis and IVH/SAH-induced brain injury; 3) Examine the natural time courses of iron buildup, oxidative stress and upregulation of iron handling proteins in the brain after IVH; 4) Determine whether heme oxygenase inhibition reduces heme degradation and IVH/SAH-induced brain injury; and 5) Determine whether iron chelation reduces oxidative stress, hydrocephalus and neuronal death after IVH/SAH in aged rats. The purpose of our project is to investigate the mechanisms of brain injury after IVH. The long-term goal of our studies is to limit hemorrhagic brain damage in patients.

PI(s): Guohua Xi

Co-I(s): Ya Hua, Richard Keep, Lewis Morgenstern

Thu, April 04, 2013

Babies cry and spit up … and too often those common symptoms are labeled as disease, according to a new study conducted by U-M researchers. Frequent use of the GERD label can lead to overuse of medication. The study was published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

Stories have already been published by Reuters,  Yahoo News!MedPage TodayNPRMSN Healthy Living,  CBS News, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. Laura Scherer, PHD, Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, Angela Fagerlin, PhD and Beth Tarini, MD are authors on this study.

Mon, June 23, 2014

Brian Zikmund-Fisher was interviewed by Reuters Health for the article "Shared decision making still lacking for cancer screening." He discusses his research and trade-offs in cancer screenings. "What this study does is it shows that despite all of the initiatives and the discussion of shared decision making that has been going on, we don't seem to be moving the needle very much," he states. 

His interview also received press in the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News.

Fri, March 12, 2010

Peter Ubel, MD, spoke recently at the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Ubel's presentation, "Rationing vs. Rationalizing Health Care," was covered by news outlets in western Michigan. To see a clip from television reports, go to