About us

Our team

Our study is led by Michael McDonald, founding director of the CAE. Team members include Holly Longstaff  (study postdoctoral researcher), Nina Preto (research associate), Jen Bailey (research associate), Cathy Schuppli (research associate), Darquise Lafrenière (research associate), and research support staff members Morgan Reid (education curriculum consultant), Liz Wilcox (coding), and James Benoit (research assistant). This study is part of a larger SCN research initiative entitled "The Stem Cell Research Environment: Drawing the Evidence and Experience Together" led by Tim Caulfield at the University of Alberta's Health Law Institute.

The opinions presented on this website do not represent one perspective. Instead, we have tried to reflect a diversity of views from a wide range of experts. The materials included on this website are intended to introduce the viewer to a range of issues and encourage a rich discussion of stem cell ethics. It is up to the viewers to form their own opinions. The opinions discussed here do not represent those of the University of British Columbia, the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, or the Canadian Stem Cell Network.

The ethics needs assessment process

Our team at the University of British Columbia's W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics (CAE) was awarded a grant from the Canadian Stem Cell Network (SCN) to develop a web-based ethics education module for stem cell researchers and trainees. The content for this website, as well as various website functions, reflect the needs and perspectives of Canadian stem cell community members. These views were determined through an extensive two-year ethics needs assessment that sought to identify ethical issues regarding stem cell research by drawing feedback from those actively involved in the field.

In total, we completed 17 interviews and focus groups with SCN trainees, SCN PIs, research ethics board members, and governance experts from across Canada as part of our assessment. We also completed an online ethics survey to determine how widespread some of the needs assessment findings are within the entire Network. All results were then analyzed to identify significant themes that ought to inform the website content. The final validated list of 13 themes are the ones that appear on this website.

Website Advisory Committee

The purpose of this advisory committee is to keep the Stem Cell Ethics Education Website current. Committee members help to keep us informed and up to date by alerting us to significant developments in the stem cell field across a wide range of areas.

Current Committee Members (shown in alphabetical order)

  • Chang, Wing, PhD, Scientist at STEMCELL Technologies 
  • Farra, Natalie, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
  • Master, Zubin, PhD, Assistant Professor at Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College
  • McClellan, Kelly, PhD, LLB/JD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University
  • Ormandy, Elisabeth, Ph.D, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia
  • Ogbogu, Ubaka SJD (Candidate), Assistant Professor & Katz Group Research Fellow in Health Law, University of Alberta
  • Saha, Krishanu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering & Wisconsin Institute for Discovery University of Wisconsin-Madison


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Michael McDonald