University of Toronto

Paul Cassar is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, working under the supervision of Dr. William Stanford. His specific research interests involve understanding the underlying mechanism that governs embryonic stem cell fate decisions. Outside of his research, he is actively involved in the promotion of science literacy. He is currently a coordinator for the leading Canadian science outreach organization, Let’s Talk Science at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. He was involved in the writing and development of the multimedia for Stem Cell School, an online stem cell education module for teachers and high school students. Recently, he co-founded the novel stem cell outreach initiative, StemCellTalks, a symposium designed to facilitate knowledge transfer between the stem cell community and senior level high school students across Canada. He is a trainee within the Stem Cell Network and currently holds a CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Read Paul Cassar's feature essay "Breaking Through" (in collaboration with David Grant) in the Press page.

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University of Alberta

Timothy Caulfield has been Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta, since 1993. In 2001 he received a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy. He is also a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health. Over the past several years, he has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish over one hundred and fifty articles and book chapters. He is a Senior Health Scholar with the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Principal Investigator for a Genome Canada project on the regulation of genomic technologies, a theme leader and Principal Investigator for the Stem Cell Network (a National Centre of Excellence) on a project examining various aspects of the international stem cell research environment, the Project Leader of an AllerGen (also a National Centre of Excellence) project exploring the use and production of evidence in allergy and asthma policy, and has several projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Professor Caulfield is and has been involved with a number of national policy and research ethics committees, including the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology, AllerGen’s Policy, Ethics, Law and Society Committee, and the national Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, among others. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He teaches biotechnology in the Faculty of Law and is the editor for the Health Law Journal and Health Law Review.

Read Timothy Caulfield's feature essay "Twisted" in the Press page.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Evans is the Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He directs Adult and Cancer Genetics Services there and also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Genetics in Medicine, the official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics.

After obtaining his MD and Ph.D from the University of Kansas he served as resident and chief resident of Internal Medicine at The University of North Carolina. He trained in medical genetics at The University of Washington in Seattle before eventually moving back to Chapel Hill. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Genetics and in Molecular Diagnostics. Dr. Evans’s research interests focus on cancer genetics, pharmacogenomics, the use of next generation genomic analytic technologies and broad issues of how genetic information is used and perceived. He is an advisor to the US Secretary of Health and Human Services on the subject of “Genetics, Health and Society” and has been actively involved nationally and internationally in the education of high court judges about genetic and scientific matters. He was a principle organizer and faculty member for a United Nations conference in Chile which was attended by over 80 nations and addressed scientific disparities throughout the world.

Dr. Evans lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, his two children, his main dog (Sparky) and his auxiliary back-up dog (Lily). He enjoys reading and bicycle riding in his spare time, though not simultaneously.

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Johns Hopkins University

Gail Geller is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a core faculty member in the Berman Institute of Bioethics where she serves as Associate Director of the Greenwall Fellowship Program in Bioethics & Health Policy. She has been an active member of the ELSI community since its inception with a particular focus on empirical research (quantitative and qualitative) regarding the ethical and psychosocial implications of genetic testing in the adult, pediatric and family contexts. In particular, Dr. Geller’s work has advanced our understanding of patient, provider and public interpretation, communication and decision making regarding new genetic technologies. She has been a member of two NIH Consortia: the Cancer Genetics Studies Consortium and the Informed Consent Consortium, and co-chaired the Task Force on Informed Consent for Cancer Susceptibility Testing. In addition to research, Dr. Geller has been involved in several genetics-related educational and training programs including the Johns Hopkins/NHGRI Genetic Counseling Training Program, the Johns Hopkins International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program in China (supported by the Fogarty Center) and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Spirituality & Medicine’s CME Program, “What Does it Mean to Be Human: Public Discourse on Genetics, Ethics and Spirituality.” Dr. Geller was part of the group of ELSI investigators who participated in setting the agenda for the next 10 years of research at the NHGRI. She is currently on the Advisory Board of the Center for Genetics Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL) at Case Western Reserve University. She has been a Consultant to the Informed Consent Working Group of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing (SACGT), the Consensus Panel on “Emerging Ethical Issues in Smoking and Genetics,” and the CDC’s Program in Public Health Genetics. In 1991, through a Fellowship from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was a visiting scientist in Paris where she studied obstetricians’ attitudes toward fetal anomaly.

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Independent Writer

Curtis Gillespie is the author of four books, including the memoir Playing Through and the novel Crown Shyness. His magazine writing on politics, science, travel and the arts has earned him numerous National and Western Magazine Awards. He has served as Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta and at MacEwan University, and is on faculty at the Banff Centre. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and two daughters.

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University of Toronto

David Grant is a Master of Applied Science candidate at the university of Toronto, working in the Bone Interface Group led by Dr. John E. Davies. He researches advanced drug delivery for bone tissue engineering. His thesis work led to the development of a biodegradable drug delivery platform for delivering therapeutic biomolecules with significantly less wasteful release early after implantation in the body. He is supported by a Barbara and Frank Milligan Graduate Fellowship from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. He is a member of the Canadian Biomaterials Society and the Canadian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society.

He worked with the Centre for Research on Healthcare Engineering, helping to plan a workshop defining the current state of research on quantifying hospital capacity planning utilizing mathematical models to simulate patient flow through the continuum of care. This project is ongoing.

He also co-founded StemCellTalks, a national high school outreach and excellence organization focussed on the science and practical ethics of stem cells. In partnership with Let’s Talk Science and the Stem Cell Network, StemCellTalks aims to engage high school students with advanced stem cell biology and its ethical, societal, and legal consequences, helping students frame science in society. StemCellTalks is currently expanding across Canada.

Read David Grant's feature article "Breaking Through" (in collaboration with Paul Cassar) in the Press page.

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University of Oxford

Dr. Jane Kaye is a Wellcome Trust Fellow and Director of the Centre for Law, Health and Emerging Technologies at Oxford: HeLEX at the University of Oxford. She obtained her degrees from the Australian National University (BA); University of Melbourne (LLB); and University of Oxford (DPhil). She was admitted to practice as a solicitor/barrister by the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court in 1997. She is a member of the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and established the Medical Law and Ethics BCL course with Jonathon Herring and Anne Davies at the University of Oxford in 2008. Her research in the area of law and genomics focuses on the development of innovative technologies and the legal issues of intellectual property rights, privacy, confidentiality, data protection and negligence, as well as the broader issues of the public interest, global governance and regulation. Her socio-legal research is based on issues that have implications for clinical and medical research practice. She is involved in a number of expert committees focusing on the issues surrounding biobanks within Europe and internationally.

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University of Toronto

Trudo Lemmens is Associate Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine of the University of Toronto. He is a member of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics and of the Centre for Ethics. After law studies at the K.U.Leuven in Belgium, Professor Lemmens obtained Master’s and Doctoral degrees at McGill University (LLM bioethics, DCL). Over the last decade, he has been a member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a visiting fellow of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, and a visiting professor at the K.U.Leuven and the University of Otago. He is also an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. Trudo Lemmens is currently a member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Clinical Practice Guidelines and Research Methods and Ethics and of the Advisory Committee on Health Research of the Pan American Health Organization, as well as a member of the Advisory Committee on Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. He has been consulted by various other international and national governmental agencies. His publications include the co-authored book Reading the Future? Legal and Ethical Challenges of Predictive Genetic Testing (Themis, 2007) and the co-edited volume Law and Ethics in Biomedical Research: Regulation, Conflict of Interest, and Liability (University of Toronto Press, 2006) as well as numerous chapters and articles in national and international law, policy, science, medicine and bioethics journals.

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Indiana University

Dr. Eric Meslin is Founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Associate Dean for Bioethics and Professor of Medicine, Medical and Molecular Genetics, Public Health and Philosophy.

He came to Indiana University in July 2001 from the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), where he had been Executive Director since 1998. NBAC was appointed by President Bill Clinton to advise the White House and the federal government on a range of bioethics issues including cloning, stem cell research, international clinical trials, and genetics studies. Prior to his work at NBAC, Meslin was Program Director in the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) program at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

A Canadian by birth, Dr. Meslin received his B.A. in Philosophy from York University in Toronto, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Bioethics Program in Philosophy at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. He has held academic positions at the University of Toronto (1988-96) and at Oxford University (1994-95) and in addition to his Indiana University appointments, is also Visiting Professor-at-Large at the University of Western Australia.

He has more than 100 publications on topics ranging from international health research to science policy, including Belmont Revisited: Ethical Principles for Research with Human Subjects (2005) co-edited with James F. Childress and Harold T. Shapiro.
He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, the US Observer Mission to UNESCO, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and sits on several boards and committees including the Stem Cell Oversight Committee of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization, Indiana Public Umbilical Cord Blood Bank (Appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels), and the Board of Directors of Genome Canada.

On May 9, 2007 he was appointed a Chevalier de L’Order Nationale du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) by the President of France.

Read Eric Meslin's feature article "The Books of Life" in the Press page.

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American University

Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. As a social scientist he studies how media portrayals of science and technology reflect and shape policy debates; inform and enable the public to participate in collective decisions; and influence the perceptions and actions of various stakeholders including scientists. He is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and he serves on the editorial boards of Science Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics. Nisbet's current research on climate change communication is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where he serves as a Health Policy Investigator. A frequent commentator and contributor to news and popular media outlets, he blogs about the intersections among media, science, and culture at Framing Science.

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University of Maryland

Karen H. Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A., is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law, founding Director of the Law & Health Care Program, and served as Dean of the University of Maryland School of Law from 1999-2009. Professor Rothenberg received both a B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Princeton University and an M.P.A. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.

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The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Peter Rugg-Gunn is a CIHR Bisby Research Fellow in Prof. Janet Rossant’s group at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. His research interests centre on understanding the epigenetic regulation of stem cells and lineage specification using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. His research has led to the discovery of lineage specific differences in histone modifications and chromatin structure that are established during early mouse development.

Dr. Rugg-Gunn obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. Roger Pedersen. His work provided the first insight into the epigenetic status of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and was important because it removed previous concerns that hESCs would have epigenetic instability (as in mouse embryonic stem cells), which could prevent their therapeutic use. He also actively participated in the International Stem Cell Initiative, which was a major consortium of laboratories founded to help establish standards in pluripotent stem
cell research.

Dr. Rugg-Gunn has been involved in public issues related to stem cell research, most recently serving on the Policy Development Committee of the Canadian Stem Cell Network. Through these interactions, he has authored an influential study that compared the regulatory framework of stem cell research in Canada with other jurisdictions.

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Independent Artist | website

Derek Besant is a Calgary based artist who has exhibited drawings, prints and multi-media works extensively throughout the world. He has recently represented Canada in numerous prestigious exhibitions including: Art as Culture International Video Biennale, Galleria Via Bartolomeo, Rome, Italy 2009; Vanishing Point : Contemporary Art & Research, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK 2009; Acqui Prize IX International Biennale, Cremona Art Museum, Italy 2009.

Besant has engaged in numerous collaborations throughout his career, and will bring extensive interdisciplinary experience to this project. In a recent image and sound project, Besant combined visual representations of sound waves from a variety of sources to create poetic and visually striking images including: transponder codes from incoming airplanes, ultrasound technology that images fetus development through progressive months of a human pregnancy, and reconstructed wave data taken from satellite aerial scans over cityscapes at night.

View selections of Derek Besant's artwork in the Gallery.

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University of Alberta | Sean's website | Royden's website

Sean Caulfield & Royden Mills have extensive independent careers exhibiting prints, drawings and sculptures nationally and internationally including: Recent Prints, Yanagisawa Gallery, Saitama, Japan; The Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2002, The Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton/ The Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary, Alberta; The 14th Seoul Space International Print Biennial, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, and the Grounds for Sculpture, New York, U.S.A., among many others.

Recently they have begun to work collaboratively creating Through Destinations for the Imagining Science exhibition. This installation work is a visually engaging environment that refers to both mechanistic and naturalistic forms in order to explore themes of mutation, metamorphosis and biology/technology dichotomies. Although the work looks to the past for inspiration, its merging of mechanistic and organic languages is intended to point viewers towards a contemporary context in which advancements in technology are rapidly changing our relationship to the natural world, biology, and our own bodies.

View selections of Sean Caulfield's artwork in the Gallery.

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University of Alberta | website

Ingram has exhibited prints and print installations in over 20 solo and duo exhibitions, and over 200 group exhibitions in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Hildebrandt is a freelance designer/artist who has exhibited multi-media, text and image works in a wide range of solo and group exhibitions and design projects.

For Imagining Science, Ingram and Hildebrandt collaborated to create a work that utilizes text and image combinations in order to question the impact of emerging biotechnologies upon natural environments and our bodies. In particular, the artists are interested in exploring the long-term ramifications of technology on our relationship to forces and cycles in ecosystems, specifically in relation to water preservation, pollution and biodiversity. To pursue these creative questions Ingram/Hildebrandt are planning to explore digitally printed layered images of water, human chromosomes, poetry, and the body onto large fabric screens. These will be placed in an open gallery environment in a manner that confronts the viewer.

View selections of Liz Ingram's & Bernd Hildebrandt's artwork in the Gallery.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst | website

Shona Macdonald, originally from Scotland, is an artist who now lives and works in the United States. She has exhibited her paintings and drawings across North America and Europe with important exhibitions including: Here, There, Everywhere, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, USA; Into the Midst, Mixture Contemporary, Houston, TX, USA; and Brief Encounters, Platform, Melbourne, Australia.

Macdonald’s work challenges viewers to consider multiple visual languages simultaneously, and reflects a sensitivity to material, mark, and space that evokes a wide range of emotional states, as well as numerous associations to such things as landscape, maps, scientific illustration and text. Despite the complexity of her paintings, the work also retains a visual clarity, and it is this tension between a intricacy of reading on the one hand, and the fact that the work is executed with such an economy of means on the other, that allows her creative/research to resonate with such powerful poetic expression. Over the years Macdonald has retained an interest in the body as subject, and intends to create drawings and paintings for Perceptions of Promise that reference body, landscape and scientific language simultaneously.

View selections of Shona MacDonald's artwork in the Gallery.

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Independent Artist | website

Marilène Oliver is internationally recognized for multi-media works that explore bio-medical imaging technology. She has an extensive exhibition record with upcoming exhibitions at The Royal College of Art and Design, London, and The Space Inbetween, The Crypt, Kings Cross, U.K.

Oliver’s creative work utilizes both ‘high’ and ‘low’ technology (i.e. MIR scans on layered glass) in order to create haunting images of figures that explore the ways that contemporary technology is transforming our concept of the body. Oliver’s newest work makes use of scans of the human body to create suspended sculptural form.

View selections of Marilène Oliver's artwork in the Gallery.

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University of Alberta | website coming soon

Daniela Schlüter is an artist based in both Germany and Canada who has exhibited her prints, drawings and video projections in Europe, Canada and the United States. Recent exhibitions include such venues as: Katholische Fachhochschule in Münster, Germany; Kunst gegen Rechts, Kreishaus, Borken, Germany; and E3 Gallery, New York City, USA.

Schlüter’s creative research explores scientific language, such as chromo somatic genetic maps, in contrast with the material, tactile and subtle presence of the hand-made mark, in order to raise questions about the ways in which contemporary language is used to describe elusive and complex ideas such as self-consciousness. In the context of much current scientific research, this is a pressing issue as there can be a tendency to reduce complex human experiences, such as emotion, into the language of scientific data.

View selections of Daniela Schlüter's artwork in the Gallery.

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Art Gallery of Alberta | website

Clint Wilson is an Edmonton based artist and Head Preparator at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Wilson’s recent work adopts the methodologies of scientific research and merges this with artistic/poetic language. Wilson has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally including venues such as Nanaimo Art Gallery, Carnegie Art Center, Buffalo, U.S.A., and The Winnipeg Art Gallery, among many others. In the context of Perceptions of Promise, Wilson is interested in collaborating closely with scientist/medical practitioners in order to develop a body of work that is influenced by scientific language, and to explore common links between creative practice and other forms of research.

View selections of Clint Wilson's artwork in the Gallery.

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Paul Cassar
Timothy Caulfield
Jim Evans
Gail Geller
Curtis Gillespie
David Grant
Jane Kaye
Trudo Lemmens
Eric Meslin
Matthew Nisbet
Karen H. Rothenberg
Peter Rugg-Gun



Derek Besant
Sean Caulfield & Roy Mills
Liz Ingram & Bernd Hildebrandt
Shona MacDonald
Marilène Oliver
Daniela Schlüter
Clint Wilson



Robyn Hyde-Lay
Project Manager

Melanie Kjorlien
Vice President

Lisa Willemse
Director of Communications

Edith Krause
Graduate Student

Ryan Wolters
Graduate Student

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