Professor of Human Genetics and Director, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh
Affiliate CEP Faculty

Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker, a philosopher, is Professor of Human Genetics in the Graduate School of Public Health. She directs the University’s Center for Bioethics & Health Law, as well as its interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics program in The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. She is a fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science and a member of the Steering Committee in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, where she teaches courses on feminist theory and on gender and the body. She also teaches research ethics for the School of Public Health and the Institute for Clinical Research Education. With a national working group of the Association of Schools of Public Health, Dr. Parker edited Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003), and she is an Associate Editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Public Health Ethics (Oxford University Press). She is a co-investigator for an international research ethics training program sponsored by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH focused on China, and has provided research ethics training in Kolkata and New Delhi, India, as well as Egypt, through three other Fogarty-sponsored training programs. Dr. Parker has published extensively on ethical concerns related to the design and conduct of research, particularly genetic research and mental health research, as well as on aesthetic surgery, confidentiality, and informed consent. She has sustained interest in employing feminist approaches to bioethical issues and in the critical analysis of bioethics as a social practice. Much of her work examines the effect of new technologies and policies on health disparities and on those situated with less power in social hierarchies.

Dr. Parker collaborates with investigators across the University, as well as nationally and internationally, on both empirical studies and theoretical and policy analyses. With colleagues in the CEP, she offered guidance regarding discovery and management of incidental findings in the use of DNA to identify human remains following natural disasters and armed conflict. With colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Parker was involved in a community-based project to investigate the care of elderly living with depression and other severe mood disorders. She serves as a co-investigator and ethics consultant on studies involving biobanking and whole exome/genome sequencing in different patient populations. With colleagues in India, she is investigating differing conceptions of privacy and analyzing the appropriateness of privacy protection requirements utilized in the US and by the NIH when applied in Indian research and patient care contexts.

Dr. Parker’s recent research has focused on the ethical management of incidental findings and return of research results, privacy protection, pharmacogenomic research and genomic medicine. She served on two NIH Working Groups — Managing Incidental Findings in Human Subjects Research and Managing Incidental Findings and Research Results in Genomic Biobanks & Archives — and provides ethics expertise to the University’s Institute for Personalized Medicine. For the National Society for Genetic Counselors, she serves as the bioethics consultant to its Ethics Advisory Group. She serves on the Expert Scientific Panel of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network. In 2015, she was appointed as chair of the Genomics and Society Working Group of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research for the NHGRI.

Recent Publications

Adams SM, Anderson KL, Coons JC, Smith RB, Meyer SM, Parker LS, Empey PE. Advancing pharmacogenomics education in the core PharmD curriculum through student personal genomic testing. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 2016; 80(1). doi: 10.5688/ajpe8013. PMCID: PMC4776296.

Seaman JB, Terhorst L, Gentry A, Hunsaker A, Parker LS, Singler JH. Psychometric Properties of a Decisional Capacity Screening Tool for Individuals Contemplating Participation in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Journal of Alzheimer Disease 2015; 46(1):1-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-142559 PMID: 25765917.

Kalynchuk EJ, Althouse A, Parker LS, Rajkovic A. Prenatal whole exome sequencing: parental attitudes. Prenatal Diagnosis, 2015; 35(10):1030-6. doi: 10.1002/pd.4635 PMID: 26151551.

Ferrari R, Parker LS, Grubs RE. Sickle cell trait screening of collegiate athletes: ethical reasons for program reform. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 2015; 24(6):873-7. doi: 10.1007/s10897-015-9849-1. PMID: 26040250.

Seaman JB, Terhorst L, Gentry A, Hunsaker A, Parker LS, Lingler JH. Psychometric properties of a decisional capacity screening tool for individuals contemplating participation in Alzheimer's Disease research. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2015; 46(1):1-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-142559. PMID: 25765917.

Parker LS, Grubs RE. Ethical considerations regarding classroom use of personal genomic information. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. 2014; 15(2):191-196. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.856, PMID: 25574277

Grubs RE, Parker LS, Hamilton RJ. Subtle psychosocial sequelae of genetic test results. Current Genetic Medicine Reports. 2014; 2:242-249. doi: 10.1007/s40142-014-0053-7

Dal-Ré R, Katsanis N, Katsanis S, Parker LS, Ayuso C. Managing incidental genomic findings in clinical trials: Fulfillment of the principle of justice. PLOS Medicine 2014; 11(1): e1001584. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001584. PMID: 24453945

Parker LS, Satkoske VB. Ethical dimensions of disparities in depression research and treatment in the pharmacogenomic era. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 2012; 40(4): 886–903. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2012.00718.x. PMID: 23289692

Parker LS. Returning individual research results: What role should people’s preferences play? Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology 2012: 13(2): 449-484.