Dr. Conrad Fernandez is Professor Emeritus and past Head of the division of pediatric hematology/oncology in the Department of Pediatrics, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University. He is cross-appointed in the Department of Bioethics. He was vice-Chair of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Bioethics committee and in this capacity has participated as a lead or member in a variety of position papers on return of results, assent to participation in research, drug shortages and the ethics of correlative studies. He is the founding co-Chair (and remains a current member) of the COG Return of Research Results committee that is charged with coordinating the return of lay summaries to participants (and to the public) of completed COG clinical trials.
His experience includes serving as a member and Chair of the Dalhousie University Health Science Research Ethics Board from 1999 to 2004, and then subsequently the IWK Health Centre Research Ethics Board from 2006 to 2010. He has served on a number of PRE subcommittees – the Research Participant Education Subcommittee, the Material Incidental Findings Sub-committee and currently the Ethics of Digital Research Subcommittee.
He has had an active ethics research program funded by CIHR, Terry Fox Research Institute and Genome Canada in the return of research results to participants. He is past chair of the Ethics Node of the national molecular sequencing study (PROFYLE) that characterizes high risk pediatric cancers with a view to understanding their biology and identifying targeted therapies.
He stepped down in January 2022 as chair of the COG renal tumors steering committee that oversees the conduct of clinical trials in childhood kidney cancer. In this capacity he led the development, conduct, and reporting of renal cancer research in the COG, which serves more than 230 institutions in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. He will remain an Emeritus member of the COG to support this disease committee’s activity.
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