PHILADELPHIA - Shirin Karsan, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Masters of Bioethics program, has been awarded a Fulbright Grant for the 2009-2010 academic year. The Fulbright Program, established in 1946, is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government designed to improve understanding and relationships between U.S. citizens and residents of other countries.
Karsan, the only School of Medicine student from Penn to receive the award this year, will conduct research on Muslim perspectives on the ethics of emerging sciences and bionanotechnologies in the United Arab Emirates. She will work with a team from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAE University in Al Ain, along with the philosophy department at the American University of Sharjah. Karsan will also coordinate with the UAE’s Chairman of the Human Research Ethics Review Committee. Karsan has also been awarded a Critical Language Enhancement Award to learn Arabic.
“The emphasis of my research in the UAE will be on the impact of religion -- Islam in particular -- in defining the limits, if any, of new technologies,” Karsan says. “I will be conducting research related to neuroethics in neurosciences and neuroengineering, and in reproductive ethics in the UAE regions.”
The Fulbright program, which operates in 155 countries worldwide, provides accommodations as well as a stipend to cover expenses during the fellow’s year abroad. Participants study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and discuss solutions to mutual international concerns.
Karsan received her undergraduate degree from Thomas Jefferson University. She was an Industry Liaison at the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute and is affiliated with the Drexel-Penn Optical Brain Imaging team. Her goal is to earn a PhD related to her Fulbright research.