2023 Healthcare Ethics and Law Conference

Genetics & Genomics: Medical, Ethical and Social Implications

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Regions Room, Brock School of Business at Samford University

Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute's annual conference is designed to help Alabama institutional ethics committees at all levels with some of today’s most pressing health care and law issues.

Register Here


Conference registration costs $60 per person, which includes lunch and conference materials. Samford students and faculty receive free registration. Contact Scott Bickel at cbickel@samford.edu for the promotional code. A Samford ID must be shown at registration.

Advanced registration is encouraged as seating is limited.


2023 Healthcare Ethics and Law Conference

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

  • 8:00 to 8:15 a.m.
    • Welcome and Announcements
  • 8:15 to 9:00 a.m.
    • Ethical Aspects: An overview of human identity
      Speaker: Dennis Sansom, PhD Retired Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Samford University
  • 9:05 to 9:50 a.m.
    • Genomics Aspects: An overview of genomics and precision medicine
      Speaker: Pellegrino Awardee, Bruce Korf, MD, PhD Chief Genomics Officer of UAB Medicine, PI of Alabama Genomic Health Initiative, site PI of All of Us
  • 9:55 to 10:10 a.m.
    • Break
  • 10:10 to 10:55 a.m.
    • Genomic considerations for Pharmacotherapy and Chronic Disease Management
    • Speaker: Nita A. Limdi, PharmD, PhD, MSPH, FAHA Professor and Associate Director of Precision Medicine Institute at UAB (Samford McWhorter School of Pharmacy alumni)
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Pellegrino Award and Lunch:
      KEYNOTE: Thoughts from a national and global perspective

      Speaker: Pellegrino Awardee, Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.

  • 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.
    • Medical Aspects: Human Identity and Medicine
      Speaker: Pellegrino Awardee, Farrell Mendelsohn, MD Cardiologist and Director of the Center for Therapeutic Angiogenesis, Research Investigator for Cardiology, P.C.
  • 1:15 to 2:00 p.m.
    • Genetic Testing Challenges and Counseling Considerations
      Speaker: Kelly East, MS, CGC VP of Educational Outreach, Hudson-Alpha Institute for Biotechnology
  • 2:00 to 2:15 p.m.
    • Break
  • 2:15 to 3:00 p.m.
    • Faith, Health care, and Genetic testing: Diagnosed with a Rare Disease: How One Family Navigates the Unknown
      Speaker: Renie Moss, parent and advocate for children with neurofibromatosis.
  • 3:00 to 3:25 p.m.
    • Panel Discussion: Where do we go from here?
  • 3:25 to 3:30 p.m.
    • Wrap Up and Program Evaluation

Speaker Bios

Dennis L. Sansom, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy at Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences

Dennis Sansom, Ph.D. came to Samford University in 1988 and has served as chair of the Department of Philosophy since 2000. He focuses on ethics, offering courses in Christian Ethics, Philosophical Ethics, Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics and Medical Ethics. Furthermore, Sansom has researched and taught on how literature illustrates and helps define important philosophical concerns pertinent to bioethical issues.

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Associate Dean

 Dr. Korf is Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics, Associate Dean for Genomic Medicine, UAB School of Medicine, Chief Genomics Officer, UAB Medicine and Co-Director of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine. He is a medical geneticist, pediatrician, and child neurologist, certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics (clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics, clinical molecular genetics), American Board of Pediatrics, and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (child neurology). Dr. Korf is past president of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics, past president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and current president of the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine. He has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH. He chairs the Medical Advisory Committee of the Children's Tumor Foundation and serves on the CTF Board of Directors. His major research interests are the natural history, genetics, and treatment of neurofibromatosis and the integration of genomics into medical practice. He serves as principal investigator of the Department of Defense funded Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium. He is co-author of Human Genetics and Genomics (medical student textbook, now in fourth edition), Medical Genetics at a Glance (medical student textbook, now in third edition), Emery and Rimoin's Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics (now in 6th edition), and Current Protocols in Human Genetics.

Nita Limdi, Pharm. D, PhD, MSPH

Professor and Associate Director of Precision Medicine Institute at UAB (Samford McWhorter School of Pharmacy alumni)

Dr. Limdi started her career as a hospital pharmacist after graduating from Samford University with a Pharm.D (1994), continuing her training obtaining her MSPH (2005) and PhD in Epidemiology (2007). As a clinical pharmacist and chronic disease epidemiologist with 20 years of experience, she brings her breath of expertise in clinical pharmacy, chronic disease epidemiology, and pharmacogenomics to lead research and implementation of genomics in clinical practice. Her efforts to recruit and engage African Americans (AA) and medically underserved patients has been vital to her contributions to understanding racial differences in drug response, identifying race-specific variants, reporting on the differential impact of gene variants and comorbidities by race.  Dr. Limdi is leading efforts to integrate genomic screening and pharmacogenetics for Alabamians through the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI).

Jeffrey Kahn

Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University

Kahn is the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy.  He is also Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.  His research interests include the ethics of research, ethics and public health, and ethics and emerging biomedical technologies.  He speaks widely both in the US and abroad, and has published four books and over 135 articles, and is currently Co-Principal Investigator for the Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Ethics and Policy Research on Genomics and Infectious Disease (NIH-NHGRI), and Co-Principal Investigator for the Oxford-Johns Hopkins Global Infectious Disease Ethics Collaborative (Wellcome Trust). 

He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (US) and Fellow of the Hastings Center (US), and has chaired or served on committees and panels for the National Institutes of Health (US), Centers for Disease Control (US), National Academy of Medicine (US), Wellcome Trust (UK) and Royal Society (UK).  His education includes a BA in microbiology (UCLA, 1983), MPH (Johns Hopkins, 1988), and PhD in philosophy (Georgetown, 1989).


Farrell O. Mendelsohn, M.D.

Dr. Mendelsohn is a clinical and interventional cardiologist in practice for over 20 years.  He graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served as a clinical instructor in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School while completing an internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Subsequently, he did a general and interventional cardiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center working in the pre-clinical medical device laboratory. 

Dr. Mendelsohn’s clinical research interest has focused over the last decade on device therapies for hypertension.  He published the first map of the renal nervous system, the anatomic substrate for renal denervation.  He helped develop the Vessix Renal Denervation System that was acquired by Boston Scientific.  And he has been the local principal investigator on numerous clinical trials of renal denervation and other device therapies for hypertension.

Kelly East

Vice President for Educational Outreach, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

Ms. East leads the development and implementation of educational programs for a wide variety of audiences including k-12 students, educators, college students, healthcare providers, and the public. The educational outreach team at HudsonAlpha impacts more than 1.5 million learners annually through educational programs and the distribution of hands-on activities and other resources. The educational team includes genetic counselors who are responsible for providing genetic and genomic counseling for research projects and clinical services across HudsonAlpha. Her experience in leading genomic counseling activities, developing educational and training interventions, and working collaboratively across organizations will provide a unique perspective. 

Renie Moss

Moss lives in Vestavia Hills, AL with her husband of 21 years, Philip Sr. and two children, Philip Jr. (17) and Helen (14).  Philip Jr. was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 in 2011 when a tumor was discovered in his neck.  Following her son’s diagnosis, Helen and Philip Sr. were both diagnosed in 2013.  With three family members, all diagnosed with the same NF1 genetic variant, only Philip Jr. is acutely affected with an inoperable and invasive plexiform tumor that threatens his airway and other vital functions.  He is currently enrolled in a clinical trial through the National Cancer Institute and after seven years, his tumor is now 60% smaller.  As of spring 2020, that drug is now the first FDA-approved treatment for pediatric plexiform tumors associated with NF1.  But the cure for NF1 is still elusive.

Continuing Education

Accreditation Statement:
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Brookwood Baptist Health and the Office for Faith and Health; College of Health Sciences, Samford University. Brookwood Baptist Health is accredited by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement:
Brookwood Baptist Health designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This is an ACPE knowledge-based program appropriate for pharmacists. 0002-9999-23-060-L99-P

This program provides 6.5 contact hours if all sessions are attended. No partial credit can be given.

Credit will be awarded based on attendance and participation. Credit will be uploaded to ACPE through CPE Monitor within 60 days of attendance; NABP e-Profile ID and date of birth (MMDD) are required.


Samford University's Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and approved by the Alabama Board of Social Work Examiners as a provider of CEUs for those holding an Alabama LMSW or LICSW. This program provides 6.5 CEU hours. We are not able to provide partial credit.