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Animal research ethics discussion will focus on UW anxiety study

Bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn and veterinary pathologist Eric Sandgren will meet on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Thursday evening for a discussion of animal research ethics focusing on a particular program employing monkeys in the study of anxiety and depression.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 1111 of the Genetics-Biotechnology Center Building, 425 Henry Mall.

Moderated by Russ Shafer-Landau, chair of UW-Madison’s Department of Philosophy, Kahn and Sandgren will examine whether removing baby monkeys from their mothers’ care in order to study the neurochemical basis of anxiety and depression is ethical – or whether it’s ethical not to undertake such research in an effort to help people who suffer from mental health disorders.

Following the discussion, the speakers will field questions from the audience.

Kahn, the Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi professor of bioethics and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, is deputy director for policy and administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He chairs the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy, and in 2011, led the institute’s committee on the use of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research.

Sandgren, an associate professor of pathobiological sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UW-Madison, is director of UW-Madison’s Research Animal Resources Center. He has chaired several committees with oversight of animal research at UW-Madison, and conducted research with animals into liver disease and breast and pancreatic cancer.

The animal research ethics discussion is sponsored by UW-Madison’s Department of Medical History and Bioethics and Department of Philosophy.