The Gerber Institute features speaker Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., who will present his talk “New Developments in the Biosciences and Bioethics.”
The event takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the DeMattias Performance Hall . It is free and open to the public.
Pacholczyk is currently the director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. His talk deals with human cloning, three parent embryos, human and animal chimeras, gene editing technologies and human embryos.
Joshua Papsdorf, director of the graduate theology program and Gerber Institute, said he thought the speaker would be a nice fit with the recent opening of the Bishop Gerber Science Center.
“We are preparing students to work in the medical field where they will be confronting a lot of new and exciting possibilities and discoveries in the years to come,” Papsdorf said. “Many of those discoveries also raise ethical issues, so it is important for people to think through some of those issues in advance.
“This is a great opportunity for students to reflect on some of the issues they might be facing in their careers. For the rest of us, it is helpful to know what is going on in these fields so that we can make informed choices as voters and as patients or friends and family of those seeking various treatments.”
Pacholczyk is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes and speaks widely on bioethics and medical ethics, and has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and Oregon State legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning.
Since 2001, he has given several hundred presentations and invited lectures, and participated in debates and roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has taught bioethics classes at St. John's Seminary in Boston, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut.
Pacholczyk earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He earned a doctorate in neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters that are expressed in the brain.
He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Pacholczyk studied for five years in Rome at both the Gregorian University and the Lateran University, where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo.
He writes a monthly newspaper column on bioethics that is nationally syndicated to more than 40 diocesan newspapers in the U.S., which has also been carried by newspapers in England, Poland and Australia. He has done commentaries for numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News and the New York Times.