Bridging Human and Animal Health

How does ethics and governance shape the study of human health and animal health?

Our project examines how scientists use innovative tools like stem cells and gene editing to grow and model human tissues and organs, as well as techniques to integrate human cells into animals during various stages of growth.

Traditionally, ethical concerns and regulation in biomedicine have focused on the human subject, with ensuing allowances to address animal welfare and human embryos. Biomedical ethics itself tends to be focused on either animal welfare and animal rights on the one hand, or human-beings and the ethical mistreatment of human subjects, on the other. To this end, the experimental use of animals and human beings in research have received separate, but intensely animated public and academic discussion.

Our research, however, suggests that new forms of biomedical research require social scientists to work across human and animal boundaries in biomedicine and ethics. Our project focuses on crucial areas of oversight and ethics, examining laws for animal research, rules for research involving humans, and guidelines for studies using human stem cells. Through this exploration, we aim to create a valuable platform to understand how decisions in biomedical research impact everyone’s health and well-being, including both humans and animals.