Judy Illes

Professor

Research Classification

Ethics and Health
Ethics, Law and Responsibilities
Neurological Diseases

Research Interests

Biomedical Ethics
Aging and dementia
Neurodevelopmental disorders
Brain Injury
Stem Cells
Neurotechnology
Neuroethics
Neurotechnology

Relevant Degree Programs

 

Research Methodology

Full Range of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

Recruitment

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Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

I am open to inspiring and supporting research in any area at the intersection of biomedicine, neuroscience, and ethics.

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - May 2019)
Perspectives on the translational trajectory of novel biotechnologies for neurodegenerative disease (2018)

The translation of novel brain technologies from the bench to the bedside has been characterized by a tension between priorities to promote rapid access to experimental interventions and the utilitarian pursuit of their evaluation with rigorous and time-intensive research. Through three studies conducted within the scope of this dissertation, I focus on a central research question: What are the perspectives of stakeholders about the translation of novel biotechnologies for neurodegenerative disease?Harnessing the strength of pragmatic neuroethics, I address this research question using both qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the first study, I explore the perspectives of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) about the unproven but highly publicized chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) intervention and the impact of its controversial trajectory on stem cell research. I find that patients are disappointed about the divestment of funds from other areas of research to support CCSVI trials, but maintain enduring hopes for future neurotechnological advancements, including stem cell research. In the second study, I examine how the news media represent timeframes for research and development of stem cell interventions for MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. I find that news articles celebrate the benefits of stem cell research with little context of its caveats. In contrast to prior studies, however, I discover that they also conscientiously convey caution about stem cell tourism and describe a lengthy trajectory between research and clinical availability of therapeutics. In the third study, I explore the perspectives of patients with MS and clinicians responsible for their care about the pace of research and development for stem cell interventions. Here I describe the urgency that patients feel to access stem cell interventions and their desire to learn more about the research process. Clinicians suggest strategies for dialogue with their patients that can clarify translational timeframes and inform hopes. Overall, the findings bring together the voices of key stakeholders and support a commitment to socially minded translation of novel neurotechnologies for neurodegenerative disease.

View record

Negotiating the ethics of trust and addition in chronic pain management (2014)

No abstract available.

Advantage, access, anticipation: The impacts of policy ethics, law and economics on stem cell research (2013)

No abstract available.

 

Membership Status

Member of G+PS
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Program Affiliations

Department(s)

 

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