Lisa Parker, associate professor of human genetics, and director of the Master’s of Arts Program in Bioethics and graduate education in the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh will present, “Genetic Enhancement: A Game Changer for Sports and Social Justice” at the 2015 Applied Ethics Day at West Virginia University.

Co-sponsored by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Philosophy, the talk will be at 8 p.m., Nov. 5, in room 112 Clark Hall on the Downtown Campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The talk will discuss the prospect of genetic enhancement in athletics.

As is the case with the controversy surrounding the use of steroids or blood-doping, the possibility of genetic enhancement to improve sport performance raises questions about the fairness of such enhancement and the goals of sport, Parker said.

“Examining our understanding of individual effort, merit and desert in athletics can help us think more clearly about unchosen, undeserved inequalities and what is assumed to be their opposite – namely, the exercise and results of individual effort,” Parker said.

Parker’s research focuses on ethical issues arising in genetic research and the clinical application of genomic information. She has published 50 peer-reviewed articles, many of which address issues of informed consent, privacy protection, use of findings from genetic research, and justice concerns in pharmacogenetics.

Parker is the chair of the Genomics and Society Working Group in the National Human Genome Research Institute. She has also been involved in National Institutes of Health programs that provide research ethics education in China, Egypt and India.

Applied Ethics Day, originally “Ethics Research Day,” began in 1998 as part of an effort to identify areas of research focus at WVU. The event provides a forum for a discussion of ethical issues related to a wide range of disciplines. Previous topics have included human genetics, the environment, national security, health care, public administration, engineering, business, journalism and pharmacy.

For more information, contact Mark Wicclair at 304-293-7709 or



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