Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2012 AER Conference: Rebecca Boxhorn

by Rebecca Boxhorn, JD, Research Associate at the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences at the University of Minnesota

Greetings from Minnesota! I am a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2012 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference. Unlike the other members of this year’s Blog Squad, I will be attending the 2012 AER Conference Virtual Meeting. Through the magic of the internet, I will watch and report back to you on the keynote addresses and plenaries streamed live online through PRIM&R’s Conference Passport. This is my first PRIM&R conference and I am thrilled to have access to many of the same fantastic speakers and presentations as my fellow PRIM&R Blog Squad members and conference attendees.

As a Research Associate at the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, I get paid to research and write articles about the most interesting and cutting edge issues in law, ethics, and health. Pretty nice setup, right? I work closely with Professor Susan Wolf, JD, a panelist at this year’s AER Conference, on the legal and ethical questions around returning individual research results and incidental findings generated in genetics and genomics research. I am particularly excited to watch Professor Wolf, Laura M. Beskow, MPH, PhD, and Edward Quigley, PhD, discuss the logistical, ethical, and regulatory complexities of returning research results from biobanks during Panel IX on Thursday, December 6.

Prior to working at the Consortium, I obtained my JD at the University of Minnesota and (thankfully) passed the bar in Minnesota. While in law school, I spent a semester in Washington, D.C., working as a law clerk for U.S. Senator Al Franken. As a law clerk, I assisted the Senator in his work as the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommitte on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. I worked on a wide range of issues, including health privacy and security in the age of electronic health records and internet research. I am excited to see that this year’s AER Conference delves into the complexities of internet research, with a pre-conference program, Regulatory, Ethical, and Technical Challenges in Internet Research, and workshop, Privacy in the Information Age: The Ethical and Regulatory Implications of Data Mining on Social Networking Sites, on the topic.

I look forward to taking in these and the other fantastic presentations at the 2012 AER Conference, and I am excited that PRIM&R offers a Virtual Meeting for those who cannot make it out to San Diego.