NEW YORK, March 14 - The Johns Hopkins University's bioethics institute has received $9.9 million from the Pew Charitable Trusts to create a new center to study bioethics and public policy, the school said on Thursday.
During the grant's initial three-year period, the Genetics and Public Policy Center, to be based in Washington, will "explore policy options and guidelines for using reproductive genetic technologies in humans, such as manipulating genes to select certain characteristics," according to Hopkins.
The institute has tapped Kathy Hudson, assistant director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, to direct the new center, which was approved by the Trusts' board of directors on Wednesday. Hudson led the policy, education, and communication efforts for the Human Genome Project, according to a statement.
Goals of the Genetics and Human Reproduction Initiative, as the first three-year focus is called, include "teaching leaders about reproductive genetics, supporting research to assess public attitudes and concerns about the field, and creating a set of policy options for guiding the use of advances over the long-term," Hudson said.
A second three-year focus has not yet been chosen, and a spokeswoman for Hopkins said the institute must first secure more funding.