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Parthasarathy elected to 4S Governing Council

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Shobita Parthasarathy has been elected to the Governing Council of the Society for the Social Studies of Science. The decision was announced in the society's email newsletter, Technoscience Update, on July 15.

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Gene patents limit availability of information, says Parthasarathy in New York Times op-ed

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In the article, "Ownership of Genes Stops Research," at the New York Times, Shobita Parthasarathy, associate professor of public policy, responds to the question of whether companies should be allowed to patent genes.

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Can a human gene be patented? Parthasarathy discusses Supreme Court case

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision upholding patents on human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. The Court will soon decide the case involving Myriad Genetics, Inc., which owns the patents to the two human genes. When mutated, these genes give a woman a high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. As the sole patent holders of the genes, Myriad would also hold a monopoly on testing for the gene mutations.

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Shobita Parthasarathy interviewed by MIT Press about breast cancer gene patents, health care technology case studies

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In honor of National Cancer Survivors Day Shobita Parthasarathy was interviewed by the MIT Press about cancer research and health care advances. In the Q&A format blog post, Parthasarathy spoke about gene patenting—specifically BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, Angelina Jolie's risk revelation, and the utility of comparative case studies of health care technologies.

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Parthasarathy quoted by PBS's NOVA Next in story on gene patents

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shobita Parthasarathy was interviewed in an article from PBS's NOVA Next about the effects of the U.S. patent system on scientific research and medical treatment.

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Shobita Parthasarathy proposal receives MCubed seed grant

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A proposal by Shobita Parthasarathy was selected as one of fifty projects to receive a $60,000 seed grant under the MCubed program for funding research. MCubed is a new program created to empower interdisciplinary teams of U-M faculty to undertake research with the potential for major societal impact.

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Parthasarathy: Geoengineering patents could follow the U.S. atomic energy model

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shobita Parthasarathy told Nature magazine that the geoengineering field "urgently needs" to define intellectual property rights for technologies that could have far-reaching consequences for the planet.

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Shobita Parthasarathy's book, Building Genetic Medicine, which informs the debate over gene patents, re-released in paperback

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shobita Parthasarathy's book on the development and implications of gene testing and patenting has been re-released in paperback by The MIT Press.

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Leadership transitions mark start of the new school year

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Alan Deardorff has agreed to continue in his role of Associate Dean of the Ford School, but a number of other key leadership roles opened this fall as faculty concluded their terms in office.

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Shobita Parthasarathy promoted to tenured associate professor of public policy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Ford School is proud to congratulate Shobita Parthasarathy on her promotion to an associate professor of public policy with tenure, which was approved at University of Michigan Board of Regent's meeting on May 19.

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Nature.com posts Parthasarathy op-ed, "Gene Patents and Democracy"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shobita Parthasarathy's opinion piece, "Gene Patents and Democracy," was posted to Nature.com's online community for breaking news on science research and policy, "The Great Beyond".

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Through the lens of social science: faculty insights on health policy

Monday, December 6, 2010

When we thoughtfully apply scientific analysis to policy challenges, we discover new and sometimes surprising relationships. If our analysis is sound, sound policies can emerge from these discoveries. The Ford School faculty members featured in this articles below explore a broad range of health policy challenges by collecting and analyzing data from panel studies, surveys, interviews, and many other sources. Their discoveries—which find their way out into the world through books, articles, congressional hearings, policy consultations, and the popular press—offer rigorous social science data to help guide health policy decisions.

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Genetic gold rush hinders competition, innovation

Monday, December 6, 2010

Even before we had mapped the human genome, American entrepreneurs had begun to stake claims to it. Over the last two decades, the U.S. Patent Office has issued more than 5,000 patents on parts of the human genome, leaving an alarming 20 percent of our genes under the ownership of corporations, individuals, and universities. While some argue that this practice gives patent holders an incentive to pour money into research and develop genetic risk tests and disease interventions, many others, including Ford School assistant professor Shobita Parthasarathy, argue that patent ownership stifles innovation, decreases consumer options, and makes health care prohibitively expensive.

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Shobita Parthasarathy interviewed by German Public Radio about legality of human gene patents

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shobita Parthasarathy was interviewed by German Public Radio about recent debates on the legality of patenting human genes. Since a narrowly decided Supreme Court ruling in the 1980s, the U.S. Patent Office has allowed patents for a variety of life forms, including human gene sequences. This practice, however, has recently come into question. In March, a New York judge invalidated Myriad Genetics' patents on the BRCA genes, thought to cause breast and ovarian cancer, and the case is under appeal. And in October, in a very surprising move, the Obama administration declared that it also considered genes unpatentable, because they are "products of nature." Parthasarathy, an expert in genetics and biotechnology policy, supports the recent court decision and the Obama administration's decision. Those on the other side of the debate worry that the loss of patents will decrease investment in innovation and, ultimately, will hurt research and hea

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Techno-fixes for climate change? Not so fast...

Friday, June 11, 2010

You walk into your office, find it unbearably hot, and jack up the AC. Your office mates may complain when they have to dig out their cardigans in July, but the act itself is easily reversed with the flip of a switch and, at worst, you've only annoyed a few people.

Picture, however, this scenario on a grand scale (i.e., worldwide). That's geoengineering or, as geoengineers like to call it, climate intervention. Whatever we call it, the goal is the same—to develop new technologies that provide a quick fix, combating the effects of rocketing CO2 emissions.

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Shobita Parthasarathy's work cited in landmark gene patent case ACLU v. Myriad Genetics

Friday, April 2, 2010

A New York District Court judge cited a University of Michigan expert's research this week in a landmark case invalidating patents on the BRCA genes, which are linked to increased susceptibility for breast and ovarian cancer.

In ruling the patents invalid because the genes are "products of nature," Judge Robert Sweet extensively cited a declaration in support of the plaintiff's case from Shobita Parthasarathy, assistant professor at U-M's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

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Shobita Parthasarathy quoted in NewScientist article about geoengineering research

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shobita Parthasarathy spoke to NewScientist about a recent geoengineering research conference that gathered scientists and policy experts to discuss the creation of a voluntary set of standards to guide international ‘planetary rescue plan’ research in the event of catastrophic global warming. Policy experts at the conference encouraged geoengineers to share research plans with the public before engaging in large scale testing of projects with a potential global impact. Just running tests sends a signal that scientists are interested in a future for geoengineering, Parthasarathy told NewScientist. "The intention is to expand the process. The path will have been set."

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Shobita Parthasarathy interviewed by NPR in "Patenting Genes"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shobita Parthasarathy participated in an NPR interview on intellectual property and gene patents as part of the Kojo Nnamdi Show on DC's NPR station, WAMU. The NPR panel was set up in response to a suit that was recently filed by the ACLU and other plaintiffs opposing the granting of patents on breast cancer genes. The suit was filed against Myriad Genetics – which owns the patents – and the U.S. patent office.

[Listen to show]

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