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Kelly Edwards, Bioethics, Appointed Graduate School’s Acting Associate Dean

The UW Graduate School proudly announces that Dr. Kelly Edwards, from the Department of Bioethics in the UW School of Medicine, has been appointed acting associate dean for the 2012–13 academic year. Dr. Edwards will direct the Graduate School’s professional development programs, a series of offerings that assist graduate and professional students to translate their education into professional success.

Dr. Kelly EdwardsDr. Edwards will serve as acting associate dean while Associate Dean James Antony is on sabbatical. Associate Dean Rebecca Aanerud will lead the academic program review process and interdisciplinary programs, while Dr. Edwards will concentrate on professional development, student grievances and other initiatives.

An associate professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Bioethics and Humanities, Dr. Edwards also is a core faculty member for the UW Institute for Public Health Genetics. She received both her Master of Arts degree in Medical Ethics and her Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from the UW.

“Kelly has extensive experience in mentoring students and creating professional development programs that help students navigate graduate and professional education and prepare for careers,” said Jerry Baldasty, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “Because professional development is a central part of our mission, we look forward to Kelly’s innovation and leadership in expanding our outreach to students across campus.”

Dr. Edwards’ work incorporates communication and public engagement as an ethical obligation for clinicians and researchers. She is the director of the Ethics and Outreach Core for the UW Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health, which is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She also is a co-director of the Regulatory Support and Bioethics Core for the Institute for Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), a partnership of the UW, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s and other regional institutions and community and tribal groups. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the ITHS assists researchers with translating their scientific discoveries into practice.

In addition, Dr. Edwards is a lead investigator with UW Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, funded by the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute. Since 2004, she has been the faculty advisor for the Forum on Science, Ethics and Policy, groups of graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows at the UW and University of Colorado that promote dialogue on issues concerning science and society.

To further engage people in conversations about ethical dimensions of science and medicine, Dr. Edwards has facilitated Community Conversations and the Public Health Café, a series of events hosted in Seattle by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research. Nationally, Dr. Edwards contributes to issues of ethical research practices with the Genetic Alliance, a health advocacy organization; Sage Bionetworks, a local non-profit; and the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Edwards is one of the 2012 LASER award winners, recognized for her science education advocacy. She was also recognized in 2011 as an Innovator by the Genetic Alliance. In 2010, the UW School of Medicine honored Dr. Edwards with the Service Excellence Award.

Her courses include “Inquiry-Based Science Communication,” “Applied Research Ethics,” “Community-Based Participatory Research: A Model for Genetics Research with Native American Communities?” and “Public Commentary on Ethical Issues in Public Health Genetics.” She is associate editor of BMC Medical Research Methodology and a reviewer for several journals.

Dr. Edwards serves on the School of Medicine’s Continuous Professional Improvement Committee and is a former member of Medicine’s Standing Committee on Issues of Women Faculty, the Student Progress Committee and the Committee on Research and Graduate Education. She is a current member of the UW Graduate School Committee on Interdisciplinary Education.

Her appointment will begin July 1, 2012.