Geneforum's Founders

Greg Fowler, Ph.D.

Gregory Fowler is a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Health Policy Studies, School of Community Health at Portland State (Oregon) University and Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University. In 1998 he co-founded Geneforum, a non-profit organization committed to promoting dialogue at the intersection of genetics, ethics, and public values. His interest areas include science education, the societal and ethical implications of science and technology, and deliberative democracy. Recent publications include "The Human Genome Project: What's the public got to do with it?"; "Translating the Human Genome Project Into Social Policy"; "Linking the Public Voice With the Genetic Policy Process: A case study"; and "Technology and Citizenry: A Model for Public Consultation in Genomic Science Policy Formation." He has been a AAAS Fellow in the Science and Engineering Diplomacy Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the recipient of an Ethics and Values in Science and Technology Individual Award of the National Science foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities to study the social and ethical implications of genetic engineering. He is a standing member of the Oregon Legislature's Advisory Committee on Genetic Privacy and Research mandated to create opportunities for public education and input on issues of genetic privacy and research, and a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, an international forum which elects scientists, artists and scholars with interdisciplinary accomplishments, a record of public service and a global perspective to the Academy to discuss the vital problems of humankind and to "keep under continuous review the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge." He holds a doctorate degree from Brown University in the biomedical sciences. View full Curriculum Vitae

Mark Garland, Ph.D.

Michael J. Garland is a founding board member of Geneforum. He is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, where he has served on the faculty since 1978. He is also a Senior Scholar in the Center for Ethics in Health Care, He received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Letters from St. Louis University and a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He earned a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Strasbourg in France, where he focused on the theory of responsibility in ethics. Dr. Garland has been active in the field of biomedical ethics since 1973 when he joined the Health Policy Program at the University of California, San Francisco. He has published widely in the field of biomedical ethics. His research interests include ethical issues in the allocation of health care resources, social ethics education for medical students, ethics in human experimentation, and the community’s role in guiding ethical choices in health policy. He co-founded Oregon Health Decisions in 1983 to foster public participation in the development of state health policy. The organization plays a continuing role in maintaining public involvement in policy decisions affecting health care in Oregon. He currently serves as a Commissioner on the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Alex Fowler

Alex Fowler is a San Francisco-based consultant and business leader on challenges at the intersection of technology and society. For the last fifteen years, Alex has focused on the underlying themes of data protection, technology policy, information risk management, and online community. As a Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Industries practice, Alex assists organizations in mitigating risks and realizing benefits in the areas of health information technology, digital health, and patient-centric care. This follows an earlier role as co-leader of PwC's US privacy practice, for which he worked with consumer-facing organizations to ensure business practices predicated on the collection and use of personal information were carried out in accordance with regulatory, ethical, and social norms. Prior to PwC, Alex was the Senior Director of Information Policy for Zero-Knowledge Systems, a leading software company developing privacy-enabling technologies and services. Alex began his career in Washington, DC with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At AAAS, he managed projects on emerging social and policy issues associated with the Internet, as well as studies on genetics and ethics funded by the Human Genome Project. Alex went on to join the Electronic Frontier Foundation where he led programmatic activities associated with online privacy, cryptography, and intellectual property. Alex is credited with founding the Kosovo Privacy Project and launching the Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression, both aimed at protecting citizens' rights in the digital age. While at EFF, Alex co-founded Geneforum, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization promoting public dialogue and education about genetics. Under his leadership, Geneforum played a pivotal role in shaping Oregon's genetic privacy legislation, which was among the first of its kind in the US. Alex is a frequent speaker and commentator, and has authored numerous articles. He holds a degree in Bioethics from Brown University and a Masters in Technology Policy from George Washington University.

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