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“Governing Nanobiotechnology:
Reinventing Oversight in the 21st Century”
Thursday, April 15, 2010
8:30 am-4:45 pm
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Center
University of Minnesota

Governing Nanobiotechnology

Governing Nanobiotechnology


This conference will present the findings and recommendations from an NSF-funded project on “NIRT: Evaluating Oversight Models for Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems: Learning from Past Technologies in a Societal Context.” The project has assessed 5 historical oversight models: for drugs, devices, gene transfer, genetically engineered organisms in the food supply, and chemicals in the workplace using a comparative approach, and developed recommendations for future nanobiotechnology oversight. The conference will assemble a multi-disciplinary group of investigators with strengths in nanotechnology research and development, public policy, law, health, environment, economics, and bioethics as well as collaborators representing a range of perspectives to present their findings to key leaders from related oversight agencies and the public.

The conference will include sessions providing background information in nanobiotechnology and existing oversight systems. The investigators will then present their recommendations and a panel of experts will provide input before opening up the discussion to the audience. Break-out sessions will focus on nanoethics, risk assessment, public engagement, and law and regulatory approaches.

Speakers and Moderators include:
David Chittenden, MS, is the Vice President of Education at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Mauro Ferrari, PhD, is Professor & Director, Center for NanoMedicine, Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine; Chairman, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Professor of Bioengineering, Rice University; and President of the Alliance for NanoHealth, Houston TX.

Susan Foote, JD, MA, is Professor Emerita, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.

Ralph Hall, JD, is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School.

Christy Haynes, PhD, is a McKnight Land-Grant Assistant Professor, Chemistry, University of Minnesota.

Robert Hoerr, MD, PhD, is the President and CEO, Nanocopoeia, Inc.

John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM, is the current Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Robbin S. Johnson is the President, Cargill Foundation and Senior Policy Advisor, Global Policy Studies, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

Jeffrey P. Kahn, PhD, MPH, is the Director of the Center for Bioethics and the Maas Family Chair in Bioethics; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School; Division of health Services Research and Policy, School of Public Health; Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota.

Milind Kandlikar, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia.

Bradley C. Karkkainen, JD, is a Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School.

George Kimbrell, JD, is a Staff Attorney, the Center for Food Safety and International Center for Technology Assessment.

Efrosini Kokkoli, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota.

George Khushf, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

Jennifer Kuzma, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota.

Gary Marchant, JD, MPP, PhD is a Professor of Law and Executive Director & Faculty Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology, and Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law & Ethics at Arizona State University.

Andrew Maynard, PhD, is the Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, and Science Advisor to the Synthetic Biology Project, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Terry L. Medley, JD, is Global Director of Corporate Regulatory Affairs, DuPont Environmental and Sustainable Growth Center.

Jeff Morris is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Program Director for Nanotechnology.

R. Timothy Mulcahy, PhD, is the Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota.

Kristin Nelson, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Forest Resources and Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota.

Jordan Paradise, JD, is an Associate Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law.

Carlos Peña, PhD, MS, a Senior Science Policy Advisor in the Office of the Chief Scientist, within the Office of the Commissioner at the FDA.

Maria Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director, Madison Environmental Justice Organization; Research Advisor, Nanotechnology Citizen Engagement Organization. She is a former researcher and societal implications team leader at the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), University of Wisconsin.

Susanna Hornig Priest, PhD, is a Professor, Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

David Y. H. Pui, PhD, is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor; L.M. Fingerson/TSI Inc Chair in Mechanical Engineering; Director of the Particle Technology Laboratory; Director of the Center for Filtration Research, University of Minnesota.

Gurumurthy Ramachandran, PhD, is a Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota.

Steve Suppan, PhD, is Director of Research, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Susan M. Wolf, JD, is McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy; Faegre & Benson Professor of Medicine; Faculty Member in the Center for Bioethics; Director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences; and Chair of the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, University of Minnesota.

Intended Audience: This conference is intended for key stakeholders in nanobiotechnology oversight, students, faculty, attorneys, researchers, scientists, policymakers, and members of the public.

Registration fees: $50 ($10 for students). Please note that registration fees include lunch, continuing education credits, and parking in the 19th Avenue Ramp.

You may register via our online registration system or by phone by calling 612-625-0055.

Maps for Cowles Auditorium in the Hubert H. Humphrey Center may be found at

The closest ramp to the Hubert H. Humphrey Center is the 19th Avenue parking ramp. More campus maps and directions to campus can be found at

Continuing Education
Application for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for attorneys will be filed.

This event has been designated by the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research to satifsy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement.

 The conference is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s:

  • Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences
  • Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, & the Life Sciences

For more information, including a complete conference agenda, directions to the conference location, hotel information, and to register, visit, call (612) 625-0055, or email