Strategies of rotavirus to subvert some of the antiviral host responses: Achievements and Challenges of Research in Mexico
Presenter: Dr. Susana López Charreton Professor at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Co-recipient of the Carlos J. Finlay Prize for Microbiology (UNESCO, 2001)
Dr. López Charreton is a prominent Mexican virologist specialized in rotaviruses. She holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in basic biomedical research from the UNAM and currently works for the Institute of Biotechnology of the same university. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar since 2000. Dr. Lopez has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of virus host cell interactions, particularly, of the early events of rotavirus cell.
Ethics, Equity, and Population Health Intervention Research
Population health intervention research (PHIR) aims at improving the effectiveness of interventions to achieve population health outcomes. To date, population health has been a largely descriptive enterprise involving the detailed characterization of (unequal distributions of) social and community determinants of individual, public, and population health. Population health intervention research builds on this strong empirical foundation by designing, implementing, and evaluating practices, programs, and policies to address these larger determinants of health.
The goal of population-level health interventions is to "shift the distribution of health risk by addressing the underlying social, economic and environmental conditions" that foster the patterns of illness and disease we experience (Hawe and Potvin 2009). A key aim of PHIR, then, is to generate evidence to help support policy decisions to alter the distributions of health risks and outcomes.
In this presentation, Dr. Robert explores the complex intersection of ethics, evidence, and policy action in the domain of PHIR. My starting point is a deceptively simple one: Why do we engage in population-level health research in the first place? For some, the description of patterns of health inequities due to social organization leads to an ethical imperative, namely to redress those inequities in the name of justice - reason enough to proceed. But for others, it would be at best supererogatory, and at worst misguided and wasteful, to attend to health inequities at the population level - health inequities affect other people, and are not of general concern. What, if any, is the morally appropriate response to the description of patterns of population health? More generally, what does it mean to build healthier communities through population health intervention research and what, if any, is the ethical rationale for such efforts?
Dr. Jason Scott Robert is the Franca Oreffice Dean's Distinguished Professor in the Life Sciences and the Lincoln Professor of Ethics in Biotechnology and Medicine at Arizona State University, where he also directs the Bioscience Ethics, Policy, and Law Program. Dr. Robert works at the intersection of bioethics and the philosophy of science, with a special interest in population and public health research, practice, and policy.