Tuskegee University's center is the nation's first bioethics institute dedicated to addressing issues that involve African Americans and other underserved populations. It was created in part to address the legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which took place from 1932 to 1972 in Macon County, Alabama.
"This national center will serve as a place of excellence that will work to ensure patient protection in our country and provide guidance to other countries around the world," Secretary Thompson said. "Tuskegee University serves as an ideal place to house this center, both professionally and symbolically. The center will stand as a testament to those who suffered so unjustly in the name of science."
The center was established in 1999 with funding from HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant announced today comes from two NIH components -- the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD).
"A critical element of biomedical research is to assure all citizens that their rights are protected when they participate in research projects and that core ethical principles are exercised by all sectors of the health care profession," NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., said. "The Bioethics Center at Tuskegee University helps us promote sound medical research practice by educating researchers and bringing greater attention to bioethical issues that impact disadvantaged populations."