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Symposium explores ethical aspects of stem cell research Oct. 9

The 10th annual President's Ethics Symposium will feature experts who will explore the ethical, scientific, political and social concerns in "The Hype, Horror and Hope of Stem Cell Research" Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Upstate Medical University's Medical Alumni Auditorium, 766 Irving Avenue in Syracuse.

Stem cell research offers remarkable potential to cure diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and also for treating severe injury such as spinal cord trauma. Last month, Christopher Reeve and Nancy Reagan publicly expressed their desire that federal funding of stem cell research be allowed to move forward. However, the topic kindles controversy as well.

Sam Gorovitz, Ph.D., the Dearing-Daly Professor with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate and professor of philosophy and public administration at Syracuse University, will launch the program. The event will include a dramatization highlighting the pros and cons of stem cell research.

In addition, experts from three universities will explore the ethical aspects of the promotion, the expectation and the anticipation that stem cell research engenders. Speakers include:

? Robert Streiffer, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and bioethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Streiffer's research interests are in ethical theory, political philosophy and applied ethics, with a focus on ethical issues arising from modern biotechnology.

? Fred M. Frohock, Ph.D., professor of political science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Frohock has academic concentrations in political philosophy, law and bioethics. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles in scholarly journals. In 1992 he published a study of alternative medicine and spiritual healing.

? Don Torrence, associate professor in the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, is a documentary filmmaker and journalist specializing in science.

? David C. Turner, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Upstate Medical University. Turner's research interests are in the field of developmental biology.

? Sharon Brangman, M.D., associate professor of medicine at SUNY Upstate. Brangman is director of the Program in Geriatrics and division chief of geriatric medicine. Her clinical interests are in caregiving issues and Alzheimer's disease, and has research interests in Parkinson's disease.

The event, which promises a lively and interactive learning experience, will be held in the Medical Alumni Auditorium, 766 Irving Ave., Syracuse. It is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (315) 464-4844.