Biomedical Science and Policy

A science in its own right, public policy draws on economic, political and statistical theories to describe and assess the effects of laws and regulations on individuals and entities. Policy shapes and informs biomedical science at every level. Likewise, biomedical science shapes public policies from national security to public and personal health. This short course introduces you to the policymaking process, features policy applications in battling disease, stemming the proliferation of biological weapons, and transforming access to health care, and highlights pathways to professional opportunities in science policy.

Date & Time

Saturday, May 21st, 9 am – 5 pm

Session Descriptions

Government 101: The Impact of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches on Science Policy

This module will cover the basics of public policy and the policy making process, and provide an introduction to science policy as a specific discipline of public policy. Participants will learn to analyze a public policy in terms of its goals, stakeholders, and type of policy intervention. We will then go through a case study to apply these concepts. Instructor: Cristal Thomas, MPP VP for Community Health Engagement, and Senior Advisor to the VP for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago.

Science to Policy: The Global Impact of Local Research

Instructor: Rima McCleod, MD Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Pediatrics, Medical Director, Toxoplasmosis Center, University of Chicago.

Better Security through Biology: Roles for Biologists in Export Control Implementation

Scientists and engineers in Argonne’s Global Security Sciences Division use their scientific training to support effective responses to national and international security challenges, including the proliferation of biological weapons. During this presentation, Dr. Castiglioni will describe export controls, which are one instrument in the nonproliferation toolbox, and outline how export controls are used to counter the proliferation of biological weapons. He will also explain how he uses his expertise in biology to support effective export control implementation. Instructor: Andrew Castiglioni, PhD Biological Nonproliferation specialist, Global Security Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory.

Working in Government: A Year in Health and Human Services (DHHS) Implementing the Affordable Care Act

During this module, Dr. Huang will 1) briefly describe the history of American Health Care Policy before and after the Affordable Care Act, 2) identify major steps in the drafting and passage of legislation, 3) identify major steps in the transformation of legislation into regulation, and 4) highlight potential roles for physicians and scientists in health care policy. Instructor: Elbert Huang, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine, Director, Center for Translational and Policy Research of Chronic Diseases.

Voices in Science: Lobbying for Cancer Research

The research community has a powerful voice as advocates for increased and sustained federal support for biomedical research. Dr. Goss will discuss her role as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to lobby for funding and other cancer-related policies that benefit patients. She will also highlight responsibilities and opportunities that academic cancer centers have as key stakeholders, and ways in which young scientists can get more involved. Instructor: Kathleen Goss, PhD Director for Strategic Partnerships and Senior Science Writer, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Chicago; Assistant Professor, University of Chicago.

Starting a Career in Science Policy and Government Science: Tips and Tools for Success

Exploring science policy and government science career options can be daunting for the uninitiated. This session will profile one PhD’s journey to a career in science policy and provide practical information and helpful tips on how to find options and achieve a career in science policy or government scientific research. Position types, fellowship options, job search approaches, and resume, c.v., and cover letter advice will be covered. At the conclusion of this interactive workshop, participants will be invited to submit a mock CV and cover letter for review by volunteer science policy and government science professionals. Instructor: Beth Russell, PhD AAAS Fellow at the National Science Foundation, Directorate for Education and Human Resources.