Is There a Blind Spot in the Oversight of Human Subject Research?

Is There a Blind Spot in the Oversight of Human Subject Research?

A scientist examining samples.

(© lily/Fotolia)


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Jonathan Kimmelman
Jonathan Kimmelman, PhD, is Professor of Biomedical Ethics / Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. His research centers on ethical, policy, and scientific dimensions of drug and diagnostics development, and he founded and directs the Studies of Translation, Ethics and Medicine (STREAM). In addition to his book, Gene Transfer and the Ethics of First-in-Human Experiments (Cambridge Press, 2010), major publications have appeared in Science, JAMA, BMJ, and Hastings Center Report. Kimmelman received the Maud Menten New Investigator Prize (2006), a CIHR New Investigator Award (2008), a Humboldt Bessel Award (2014), and is an Elected Fellow of the Hastings Center (2018). He has served on various advisory bodies within the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. National Academies of Medicine, and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and makes frequent appearances in the news media. He chaired the International Society of Stem Cell Research Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation revision task force 2015-16, is deputy editor at Clinical Trials, and serves as an associate editor at PLoS Biology.
Therapies for Healthy Aging with Dr. Alexandra Bause
Sabine van Erp / Pixabay

My guest today is Dr. Alexandra Bause, a biologist who has dedicated her career to advancing health, medicine and healthier human lifespans. Dr. Bause co-founded a company called Apollo Health Ventures in 2017. She is currently a venture partner at Apollo and immersed in the exciting work going on in Apollo’s Venture Lab.

The company is focused on assembling a team of investors to realize important scientific breakthroughs in the life sciences. Dr. Bause and Apollo Health Ventures say that biotech is at “an inflection point” and is set to become a major driver of change and economic value.


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Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
This man spent over 70 years in an iron lung. What he was able to accomplish is amazing.

Paul Alexander spent more than 70 years confined to an iron lung after a polio infection left him paralyzed at age 6. Here, Alexander uses a mirror attached to the top of his iron lung to view his surroundings.

Allison Smith / The Guardian

It’s a sight we don’t normally see these days: A man lying prone in a big, metal tube with his head sticking out of one end. But it wasn’t so long ago that this sight was unfortunately much more common.

In the first half of the 20th century, tens of thousands of people each year were infected by polio—a highly contagious virus that attacks nerves in the spinal cord and brainstem. Many people survived polio, but a small percentage of people who did were left permanently paralyzed from the virus, requiring support to help them breathe. This support, known as an “iron lung,” manually pulled oxygen in and out of a person’s lungs by changing the pressure inside the machine.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.