Dr Natasha Anwar
Visiting Researcher, Ethox Centre
Natasha is a Consultant Molecular Pathologist working in Pakistan at the Aga Khan University Hospital. She is also Associate Faculty at the Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC), Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant. She is a member of the Punjab Bioethics Research Committee and has served as a co-opted member of the National Bioethics Committee of Pakistan. Over the years, Natasha has been involved in genetic testing and research in Pakistan and has also been teaching and creating awareness about ethical issues related to human genetics, genomes and genomic data.
Through her interactions with researchers and physicians she has developed an interest is the use of local, regional and international ethical standards and guidelines that relate to genetics. Her research here will focus on learning how to ensure ethical standards are contextualized based on social, cultural, religious and economic differences in order to give them local relevance. Guidelines should be developed together with appropriate local stakeholders so that they are easily incorporated into practice. Effective training, implementation and monitoring will ensure better ethical governance. As new technologies such as gene editing are being rapidly incorporated into clinical trials, there is a urgent need to provide researchers and policy makers with an ethical framework that works.