Bioethics Institute Announces Research Fellows Program

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (May 10, 2012) – Saint Joseph’s University’s Institute of Catholic Bioethics recently established the Allen and Dolores Gustafson Distinguished Research Fellows Program to support interdisciplinary bioethics research. The program was made possible by a $100,000 donation by Institute board member Allen M. Gustafson and his sister, Linnea Gustafson Rutkowski. The gift was named in memory of their parents, Allen and Dolores Gustafson, who shared a deep commitment to education and medical research.

“The Gustafson family, who are long-time supporters of the Institute of Catholic Bioethics, wished to provide research opportunities for students that would foster a lasting legacy for the Institute and the bioethics field,” says Peter Clark, S.J., Institute director and professor of theology and health services. “Everyone associated with the Institute is deeply honored by their generosity.”

The program provides opportunities for SJU undergraduate and graduate students and members of SJU-affiliated institutions to conduct independent research in bioethics under the guidance of a faculty mentor. It also supports opportunities for participants to communicate their findings to others in the field. Award amounts total $5,000 for each project, covering a $4,000 research budget and $1,000 for faculty mentors to supervise the work. Each spring, two individuals or two research groups will be chosen to participate in the program, which entails a two-semester research experience and the opportunity to attend national and regional conferences.

The inaugural recipients of the Gustafson Fellowship are members of two research groups: SJU students Daniel Maloney ’12, Alex DeBernardo ’14 and Dominic Gatta ’14 will research the removal of arsenic from water through Biosand filters and Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinths). The second group, comprised of Mercy Catholic Medical Center (Philadelphia) researchers Nidhi Chaudry, M.D., Adekonla Adesina, M.D., Shardul Poudyal, M.D. and Bhardwah Abhishek, M.D., will research the C.O.D.E. Study (Code status in Older patients Diagnosed with End-stage heart failure). Fr. Clark is the faculty mentor for both projects. At the conclusion of each study, findings will be submitted for publication to peer-reviewed journals.

For more information about the program, email program administrator Theresa O’Doherty at

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240,

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