Research ethics in the era of personalized medicine: Updating science's contract with society

Eric M. Meslin, Mildred K. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

28 Scopus citations


With the completed sequence of the human genome has come the prospect of substantially improving the quality of life for millions through personalized medicine approaches. Still, any advances in this direction require research involving human subjects. For decades science and ethics have enjoyed an allegiance reflected in a common set of ethical principles and procedures guiding the conduct of research with human subjects. Some of these principles emphasize avoiding harm over maximizing benefit. In this paper we revisit the priority given to these ethical principles - particularly the principles that support a cautious approach to science - and propose a reframing of the 'social contract' between science and society that emphasizes reciprocity and meeting public needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health Genomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010



  • Personalized medicine
  • Research ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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