RCR at GW: Monthly Series

Understanding Bias and Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Trials


In this lecture, David B. Resnik, J.D., Ph.D. will address the intersection between financial conflicts of interest, including industry funding, and bias in clinical research. Conflicts of interest can influence how trials are designed, conducted, analyzed, and reported. Journal editors ask authors to declare conflicts of interest and the role of the funder in the trial.

By using case studies, we hope to improve the university’s ability to identify and manage financial conflicts of interest by increasing awareness of this issue in the area of clinical trials. For example, there are a number of ethical issues that have emerged from the Jesse Gelsinger case. The lead scientist had a financial interest in the development of the gene therapy being used in the clinical trial. We will discuss how biases related to financial relationships have the potential to directly impact the quality of healthcare and objectivity of the research. We will cover how conflicts of interest describe situations where the impartiality of research may be compromised because the researcher stands to profit in some way from the conclusions they draw.

About RCR at GW Monthly Series

In-person RCR· workshops and live lectures on research ethics are presented by various facilitators from the George Washington University (GW) and other government agencies. This monthly series provides attendees with an opportunity to pursue instruction from a variety of sources and materials tailored to specific research interests and requirements. These monthly sessions also meet the National Institutes of Health requirement for RCR training.

Learn more about RCR at GW