Student Papers Recognized at National Conferences

American Society of Bioethics and Humanities: Aubrey Incorvaia

Aubrey Incorvaia
Ph.D Student
Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Health

The paper that Aubrey Incorvaia, a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, originally wrote for center director Leslie Wolf’s human subjects research class last spring was recognized by the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities as one of the best student submissions.

In her paper entitled, “Beyond Consent: Incorporating Patient Perspectives into Clinical Trial Research Development,” Incorvaia argues for incorporating patient perspectives more broadly into clinical trial research development. She contends that such inclusion will have beneficial effects to the science and the ethics of clinical trials. Incorvaia has a particular passion for this topic, which is part of her overall research for her Ph.D., based on personal experiences with families challenged by genetic disease.

“Professor Wolf worked extensively with me to help me find my voice as a budding scholar.  The paper I created is the normative work on which my future scholarship will be founded.  I’m delighted that I’ve also been able to leverage the thinking and product in other venues. This class, and my interaction with Professor Wolf, were invaluable to my formation. I was also glad to take Professor Zettler’s class in Food and Drug Administration Law, which also helped me better understand the regulatory processes involved in determining a drug’s safety and efficacy.”

“We are so proud of Aubrey,” said Wolf. “She comes to these topics with such curiosity and commitment that it is no surprise that she is already being recognized for her work.”

ASBH is not the only organization to recognize Incorvaia’s work. She presented a version of her paper at the Postgraduate Bioethics Conference at King’s College London in July and will be presenting another version at the 2019 Citizen Science Association Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina in March.

Thomas Griner (J.D. ’96, Ph.D. ’19) received the Law Section’s Best Student Abstract award at the American Public Health Association 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo in November. The abstract entitled, “How Do Medical Amnesty Laws Correlate with Drug Overdose Deaths?” received the highest score during the anonymous peer review process.

Thomas Griner
(J.D. ’96, Ph.D. ’19)

A Georgia State Law graduate, Griner is completing a Ph.D. at Georgia State University School of Public Health. His dissertation focuses on analyzing state medical amnesty laws, commonly known as Good Samaritan Laws. “Often drug overdose victims or witnesses delay calling for help because they fear criminal penalties.” Griner said. “These laws are designed to reduce overdose deaths by encouraging bystanders to seek timely medical attention.”

In his presentation at the conference, Griner described his research, which examines the impact of medical amnesty laws on drug overdose deaths in four states and compares the five-year period before and after each state enacted its law. “These laws vary from state to state,” Griner said. “Examining what statutory language works and what doesn’t can help policy makers craft laws that better address overdose deaths.”

“Presenting at APHA offered a critical opportunity to receive feedback on this next phase of my research,” said Griner. “I was able to meet with experts in the field of public health law research and to discuss methodology and best practices in legal analysis.”

“We congratulate Tom on this recognition,” said Stacie Kershner, associate director of the Center for Law, Health & Society and co-program chair of the APHA Law Section, who is serving on Griner’s dissertation committee. “He is using his legal training combined with the skills and knowledge he’s developed in his Ph.D. program to conduct important, policy-relevant research. We look forward to the final results.”