GRAND RAPIDS — Representatives from eight research institutions will convene at the Van Andel Institute Friday for a day of networking and sharing best practices.

The first Michigan Research Ethics Conference is set for April 27. Sponsors are Grand Valley State University, Van Andel Institute, Metro Health, Wayne State University, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health, and Michigan State University.

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Session topics during the conference include data security, community engagement and participation in research, improving consent, and FDA regulations.

Paul Reitemeier, chair of the Human Research Protections Program at Grand Valley, said the conference could aid collaborative research projects in the future.

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“We look forward to meeting and developing new relationships with research colleagues at the other participating institutions about shared interests,” Reitemeier said. “This has been a high priority goal for researchers at Grand Valley and this is a terrific opportunity to move that agenda forward.”

Faculty from varied disciplines at Grand Valley will give presentations. James Edwards, executive director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, will be on a panel about community engagement; Rebecca Davis, associate professor of nursing, will lead a session on informed consent; Reitemeier serves as a convener and panel facilitator.

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Keynote speakers are Scott Jewell, from the Van Andel Institute, and Ivor Pritchard, U.S. Office of Human Research Protections in the Department of Health and Human Services.