Professor of Research Ethics
Emory School of Medicine
Dr. Pentz received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of California in 1970. During the early part of her career, she served as a clinical ethicist, helping patients, families and the healthcare team at the bedside to resolve ethical dilemmas, first in the community setting in Yakima, Washington and then as the sole Clinical Ethicist at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson for a decade. She joined Emory and the Winship Cancer Center as an Associate Professor (2002-2004) and now as Professor of Research Ethics.
Dr. Pentz conducts empirical ethics research on topics of most importance to the Cancer Institute. Our main focus is on ethical issues in early drug development, with emphases on informed consent, biobanking, return of results and genetic testing. We design ethics companion studies for all the multi-project grants submitted by Winship, and therefore cover wide ranging issues from the use of botanicals to health disparities. We work closely with the Winship Tissue Bank on proper informed consent and return of results. As a member of Children’s Oncology Group, we conduct research on the ethical implications for the whole family of pediatric stem cell transplant. Dr. Pentz represents Emory on various national data safety monitoring boards and scientific advisory committees, including the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network, GTEx, ALS repository, St. Jude and the National Disease Research Interchange. Dr. Pentz also provides mentorship to the Cardiology Ethics Assistant Professor, Neal Dickert, and are involved in his research and publications and to a BS prepared Ethics Fellow who is planning on attending medical school in a year.
Dr. Pentz’s other interests include research in the emergency setting, genetic research, informed consent for vulnerable populations and promoting an ethical research culture.
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