I would like to express my sincere thanks for your support of my attending the 31st Annual Japan Bioethics Conference in Sendai this past weekend. I had a wonderful experience chairing the first session which included myself and Dr. Haruka Nakada, and discussing my own research titled ‘Exploring the ethics of participant payment in research’. I am thrilled by the enthusiasm of the audience with their questions and insight.

Presenting at the conference was a life-changing experience, both for me personally and professionally. It allowed me to travel to Japan, which is a place I love and I have visited annually for the past 3 years. Having the opportunity to present my research on the ethics of payment at an international forum will provide me with a springboard for future funding opportunities. At my own University, my medical school Dean has recognized the notoriety of this ethics work thanks to my session there at Tohoku University. I have also shared the conference photos with a few representatives from Merck Pharmaceuticals, in hopes that I can obtain additional funding from them on the topic of payment in the HIV research field.

Importantly, my participation in the conference has led to new potential collaborations. There were many questions that referred to the topic of ethics of payment in research as it relates to practices in Japan, and more locally at Tohoku University, both with JAB and IAB members. This led to the exchange of business cards with several faculty and researchers from all over Japan with whom I will correspond and discuss future research projects. The prospect of working with these researchers is very exciting! The prospect of collaboration was particularly apparent in working with Dr. Haruka Nakada from JAB, who presented on “Deliberation time in “informal” decision-making on participating in clinical trials” in the session that I chaired. We discussed the impact of payment on participation in research, particularly for healthy patients. This was a very fruitful conversation which continues today, and that may lead to future grants.

In closing, my experience at the 31st Annual Japan Bioethics Conference was a once in a lifetime opportunity which has positively impacted my career in many ways. I sincerely hope that my presentation and my chaired session were adequate and well received by the international audience. This experience has grounded my work on the ethics of payment in research in a way to support future growth. Thank you once again for the opportunity.

Brandon Brown, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health
UCR School of Medicine