Back in November of 2015, CENTRES and the Capacity Development in Biomedical Ethics in Singapore Funding Initiative hosted a conference on research ethics at the Grand Copthorne Hotel in Singapore. That was before this blog was launched, but we have some video from the portion of the conference that focused on the Human Biomedical Research Act. Those videos are embedded below the fold.
First, a little background on the conference: it was an opportunity for IRBs and researchers to enhance approaches to research ethics review and to support researchers to develop ethically sound protocols and research practices. (Indeed, 52% of attendees were IRB members or chairs) We invited experts on research ethics from Singapore, UK, USA, Japan and Australia to make this conference an interactive learning and sharing experience to help researchers, IRB members and IRB administrators extend their knowledge on current research ethics issues and apply it in their practice. Over 180 individuals attended the conference.
Four sub-themes were explored:
- Guidelines: Maintaining Global Standards for Research
- Developments in Research Governance: Lessons for Singapore
- Developing Capacity, Consistency, & Consensus in IRBs and
- Legislative Frameworks & Challenges.
The conference format consisted of a series of plenary talks on each sub-theme, followed by a roundtable discussion (or, in the case of (4), an expert panel). The roundtable discussions were a unique opportunity for participants to engage directly with the issues being discussed. Participants were randomized to one of 18 tables, with each table led by a facilitator who guided the discussion; perspectives and questions from the tables were then shared with the whole group.
The final session was devoted to speakers and panel discussion on the new Human Biomedical Research Act. First was A/Prof Tracey Chan (NUS Law Faculty) with an overview of the new framework:
Next, A/Prof Tan Soo Yong (Duke-NUS and A*STAR) explained the details of the new tissue banking framework under the Act:
Sumytra Menon gave the third talk delving into implications and challenges for implementation of the Act:
The conference concluded with a panel discussion of the Act among Prof Alastair V. Campbell (NUS Centre for Biomedical Ethics), Prof Don Chalmers (University of Tasmania), Sumytra Menon (NUS Centre for Biomedical Ethics), and Prof Ryuichi Ida (Doshisha University):