Free Mini Certificate in Health Research Ethics for APRU Students

In this virtual, interactive training totalling 12 hours, join students from around the world to develop competencies in health research ethics through short lectures by international guest experts, small group case study discussions facilitated by expert faculty, and self-paced online homework.

Date & Time

September 30 and October 14 & 28 at 5:30 pm (PDT)/
October 1, 15 & 29 at 8:30 am (Hong Kong & Manila time)

Duration: 2 hours per session.


  • 6 hours of discussions and lectures with 6 speakers plus online homework
  • 9 case studies
  • View a tentative program here.


  1. Gabriela Arguedas-Ramírez, Universidad de Costa Rica
  2. Mary Ana Cordero Díaz, Tecnologico de Monterrey
  3. Angus Dawson, University of Sydney
  4. Leonardo D de Castro, University of the Philippines
  5. Sharon Kaur, University of Malaya
  6. Vicki Xafis, National University of Singapore

View bios of the speakers and 15 facilitators below.

How to Register

  1. Complete a free online informed consent training here (30 mins). You should receive a score of at least 85% to pass.
  2. Fill in an online registration form  here and upload your certificate of completion to complete your application.
  3. Deadline of completion: September 15th. Space is limited and fills up quickly so please register ASAP.
  4. A confirmation of registration zoom links will be sent to you within one week once you apply and upload the certificate.
  5. The applications will be reviewed and selected by the Global Health Program. There is no guarantee that all applications will be accepted.
  6. Updates on the closing registration of certain economies will be posted on this page when the quota is full.

Please note

  • The training is free and exclusive for APRU undergraduate and graduate students. 
  • Due to the high demand, we will use a quota-based system per economy to have a diverse cohort suitable for the program.
  • The Global Health Program reserves the rights of the final decision on application acceptance.
  • The training will be conducted in English via Zoom in three sessions of 2 hours each. Students will also be required to complete some online exercises in between the sessions.
  • Those who successfully complete all 6 live session hours plus the required “homework” will receive a certificate of participation.


This Program is sponsored by the University of the Philippines. We acknowledge their active participation and strong support to this important training during the global pandemic.

Additional Info

To join the APRU Global Health Monthly Health Research Ethics Case Studies Discussion Group, please see the details and register here.



APRU Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed during the Free Mini Certificate in Health Research Ethics for APRU Students are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (“APRU”) and its employees.  APRU is not responsible and does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the series.

Angus Dawson

Angus Dawson (PhD) is Professor of Bioethics and Director of Sydney Health Ethics at the University to Sydney, Australia. His main research interests are in public health ethics, research ethics, and methodology in bioethics. Angus’s work is increasingly focused on working with organisations to embed ethics into policy and everyday practice. He is currently writing a series of papers about key concepts in public health including solidarity, community, and trust as well as working on projects on Antimicrobial Resistance, Vaccine Prioritisation and the Ethics of Migration. Dr Dawson is the joint editor-in-Chief of the journal Public Health Ethics and was one of the editors of the casebook Global Perspectives on Public Health Ethics.

Gabriela Arguedas-Ramírez

Gabriela Arguedas-Ramírez is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women`s Studies at the Universidad de Costa Rica, where she teaches Bioethics and Feminist Topics. In 2015, as part of an alliance between the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Women’s Studies Research Center (CIEM) at the University of Costa Rica, she presented the results of her research on obstetric violence in Costa Rica, in a thematic audience for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. As a result of her research on obstetric violence, gender and human rights, she created the Reproductive Rights Observatory at the CIEM, University of Costa Rica. She has published articles about the ethics of genetic patents, obstetric power/violence, ecofeminism, religious fundamentalism and sexual rights. Her publications include a forthcoming Spanish translation of Dr. Steven Miles’s Doctors Who Torture: The Pursue of Justice (Universidad de Costa Rica Press, 2021), and Situación de los Derechos Humanos de Poblaciones Históricamente Discriminadas en Costa Rica (Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, 2013), co-authored with Professor Monterrat Sagot.

Vicki Xafis

Vicki Xafis (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and is the SHAPES (Science, Health and Policy-relevant Ethics in Singapore) Programme Director. The SHAPES Initiative provides support and ethics expertise in biomedicine to policy-makers, government agencies, clinician-scientists, and other stakeholders. Vicki received her Master of Bioethics from Monash University and her PhD in ethics-law from The University of Adelaide. She has worked in the area of research ethics at Monash University, Deakin University, and the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia. Prior to NUS, she held a clinical ethics position at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. Vicki also has a background in linguistics, education, and research.

Leonardo D. De Castro

Leonardo D. De Castro (PhD) is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, where he previously served as Department Chair for 9 years. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore and Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Bioethics Review from 2008 to 2016. He chairs the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board, the agency responsible for promoting ethical health research in the country. Dr De Castro has served on the National Bioethics Advisory Committee and the National Transplant Ethics Committee. He has been President of the Asian Bioethics Association, Vice Chair of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, Vice Chair of the Forum for Ethics Review Committees in Asia and the Pacific, and a Bioethics Consultant to the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the European Union and the European Commission. He represented the Philippines in the UNESCO Inter-Governmental Bioethics Committee.

Sharon Kaur

Sharon Kaur (LLB, MA, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, where she has designed modules on healthcare law and ethics for undergraduate as well as postgraduate students. She also teaches on the Masters of Health Research Ethics (MOHRE) programme at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. Her research interests primarily revolved around medical research ethics and issues relating to the rights of marginalised populations. She is currently working on a number of projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which relates to the challenges of data sharing in a middle-income country. Her postgraduate training was in Medical Law and Medical Ethics and her doctoral thesis addressed the role of research ethics committees in relation to clinical trials involving mentally incapacitated adults.

Mary Ana Cordero Díaz

Mary Ana Cordero Díaz is a MD with a Diploma of Humanities and Ethics. She is a Bioethics docent and the Wellbeing and Professionalism Program Coordinator for the medical residents and fellows at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. Her activities and research focuses on ethics, ethics in research, professionalism, the learning environment and the well-being of medical students, residents and physicians.

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson graduated PhD in Philosophy at The University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau in 2020. She is a lecturer at her alma mater. Sarah has tutored a range of philosophy and ethics undergraduate courses and is currently codeveloping a course in ethics for medical students. She originally trained as a nurse, specialising in paediatric intensive care, and worked in a number of countries including Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Among her interests are gloabl justice, health, and wellbeing.

Alexander Atrio L. Lopez

Alexander Atrio L. Lopez is an Instructor in Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he is also finishing his MA Philosophy thesis. From the same institution, he graduated BA Philosophy, summa cum laude. He also has a degree in BS Basic Medical Sciences from the University of the Philippines Manila. His research interests are ethics, philosophy of mind, and aesthetics. Contact him via [email protected].

Doris R. Benavides

Doris R. Benavides, MD holds a Doctor of Medicine degree obtained from University of the Philippines College of Medicine. She completed her Residency Training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Fellowship Training in Gynecologic Oncology, University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital. She also completed the didactic courses of Master of Science in Bioethics, University of the Philippines College of Medicine and College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, a Clinical Fellowship in Advanced Gynecologic Laparoscopy, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan; and was the First Filipino fellow of the APAGE (Asia-Pacific Association for Gynecologic Endoscopy and Minimally Invasive Therapy) training program. She is Associate Professor 3, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of the Philippines College of Medicine and Philippine General Hospital. She is also the Panel Chair, University of the Philippines Manila Research Ethics Board (UPM-REB), Chair, Hospital Ethics Committee, Philippine General Hospital, Chair, Hospital Transplant Ethics Committee, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City and President, Asia Oceania Research Organization on Genital Infections and Neoplasia – Philippines (AOGIN-RP) 2021-2022. She is a Fellow and Member of the Board of Trustees, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP).

King L Chow

King L Chow, PhD, as a Professor of Life Science, Chemical & Biological Engineering, serves as the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs Office overseeing Environment and Sustainability, Public Policy, Risk Management, Technology Management and various innovation programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He heads the Dean of Students Office supporting various student-oriented schemes beyond academic issues, including exchange program, career development and experiential learning. While his research focuses on genetics, development, evolution and synthetic biology, he engages in various teaching pedagogy initiatives and curricular development projects, teaches project courses, experiential courses, online courses; spearheads liberal arts and interdisciplinary education at the juncture cutting across science, engineering, social science and humanity at both UG and PG levels. He was the inaugural School of Science Teaching Award winner and was awarded the Michael G. Gale Medal of distinguished teaching at HKUST.

Andrés Caicedo

Andrés Caicedo is Professor at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina. He obtained his Ph.D. with Honors in Biomedicine in 2013. He has specializations in Regenerative Medicine from the Biomedicine Research Institute and Biotherapies (IRMB) and in Management, both from the University of Montpellier. He is the leader of the “Biomedical Discovery Team”; his team is interested in the generation of new therapies for the repair of tissue affected by age, environmental stress, or damage. He also has experience in the understanding of the tumor microenvironment especially in how stem cells could affect its progression. In 2017 he was part of the awarded Innovators Under 35 in Latin America Prize by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review. He also won the 2017 Innovation Call “Ecuador Changes the World” for the Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Ecuador (AEI). Since 2019, he has been Member and Chairman of the Scientific Commission of the National Institute of Transplantation of Tissue Organs and Cells (INDOT). Since 2018, he has been responsible for the R&D department at “Sistemas Médicos USFQ”. In 2020 he was elected Regional Secretary of the International Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ISCT). He seeks to develop solid ventures with the support and interaction between the private sector, academia and government to position Ecuador and the region as leaders in the application of effective and safe stem cells-based therapies.

Indri Hapsari Susilowati

Indri Hapsari Susilowati graduated from the Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia (UI), majoring in Occupational Health and Safety in 1999 (Bachelor degree) and 2008 (Master degree). She earned her Ph.D. in Human Science Design from Kyushu University Japan in 2012. Her interest research in ergonomics, human factors, aging, and safe transportation. She is currently the Head of Occupational Health and Safety Department, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia, since 2016. She is also teaching Law and Ethics in Health courses in Health Cluster Science, Universitas Indonesia. In this course, students are taught to understand health problems with bioethical principles, both clinical/personal and community / public health. This course is attended by students from the UI Faculty of Public Health, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy. She has achieved numerous awards at international conferences and has many publications in international and national journals. She also is writing a book about Indonesian Fall Risk Assessment Tools (I-FRAT) and Health Promotion in the Workplace.

Leander Penaso Marquez

Leander Penaso Marquez is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He currently holds a graduate degree in Philosophy and another one in Education. He has published a number of articles in local and international journals as well as presented some of his research papers in various conferences in Asia and Europe. He has facilitated trainings of teachers in the teaching of subjects such as “Introduction to the Philosophy of the Human Person” and “Trends, Networks, and Critical Thinking in the 21st Century Culture”. Incidentally, he has also authored a textbook on the latter under the same title. Leander sits as co-chair of the Bioethics Working Group of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Global Health Program (APRU-GHP). He is also serving as Junior Ambassador to the Philippines for the Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN). His research interests include Ethics, Epistemology, Philosophy for Children, Philosophy of Education, and Philosophy and Popular Culture.

Honey Libertine Achanzar-Labor

Honey Libertine Achanzar-Labor is Professor 5 in the University of the Philippines Manila and Program Coordinator of its BA Philippine Arts – Cultural Heritage and Arts Management Program. She received her BA Humanities (Pre-Medicine track) degree from the University of the Philippines, completed the MS Medical Anthropology coursework, and has a doctorate in Philippine Studies from the Asian Center in the same university, with a dissertation anchored on Anthropology of Art. She is a regular member of her university’s Research Ethics Board (UPREB), and a UP Centennial and One UP Professorial Chair Awardee. She was also named as University Artist by the UP system under the lens of its Arts Productivity Program, acknowledging her contribution in creative research, publication, and promotion of cultural heritage. She also served as Director of UP Manila’s Office of Student Affairs from 2011-2014. Her research interests include Southeast Asian Art, Anthropology of Art, and Medical Anthropology. Her most recent publications include a chapter in the Scopus-indexed book Religious Tourism in Asia: Tradition and Change Through Case Studies (Oxford: CABI, 2018), and journal articles: “Calle Faura: Cultural Heritage Amidst Conflict in Ermita, Manila” in The Calle Faura Journal 2017; 7-9 (ISBN 2599-4298) and “The Ibaloi of Benguet as Active Agents in Health Negotiations” in Philippine Journal of Health Research and Development (2018). As a response to the Marawi siege, she convened the conference, The Lost and the Retrieved: Cultural Heritage Amidst Conflict in 2017 and is Founding Executive Director of The Faura Project, Inc.

Markus Labude

Markus Labude is a Research Associate with the Initiative for Science, Health and Policy-relevant Ethics in Singapore (SHAPES) at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore (NUS). Markus is a graduate of Yale University’s doctoral program in philosophy, where he specialized in ethics and political philosophy. Prior to joining SHAPES, Markus was a visiting researcher at the University of Frankfurt’s research cluster on “The Formation of Normative Orders”. His key research interests include philosophy & public policy, research regulation, big data ethics, gene editing and justice and the methodology of ethics and political philosophy. At NUS, he has been actively engaged in teaching research and clinical ethics.

María de Jesús Medina-Arellano

María de Jesús Medina-Arellano, PhD obtained her law degree from the Autonomous University of Nayarit, Mexico (2004). In January 2008 she graduated with the equivalent of an MPhil at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). During her postgraduate degree she focused on the new paradigm of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights in Mexico. She obtained her PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence in July, 2012, from the School of Law (Centre for Social Ethics and Policy and the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation) at the University of Manchester. Her PhD research focused on the regulation of stem cell research in developing countries (Mexico as a case study). From 2013-2014, Maria worked as Deputy of the Judicial School in the Local Court of Justice in Nayarit. Since September 2014 she has been a full-time researcher at the Institute for Legal Research at UNAM. Since January 2015, she has also been the Deputy of the College of Bioethics, a civil association in Mexico that gathers scientist and physicians working in the area of bioethics from practical and academic perspectives. Since April 2017, she has been a member of the advisory board at the National Commission of Bioethics in Mexico (CONBIOÉTICA). Since January 2016, she has coordinated the Diploma on Bioethics, Health and Law which is offered in the Institute for Legal Research.

Nenita Baltazar-Panaligan

Nenita Baltazar-Panaligan is a Registered Nurse in the Philippines and Associate Professor at Cavite State University College of Nursing (CvSU- CON), supervising nursing and allied health undergraduate students. Prof. Panaligan handles professional courses on Research, Nursing Leadership and Management, Maternal and Child Care, and Community Health Nursing. She served as the first Clinical Coordinator and an Acting Dean of the CvSU CON, and managed the Research and Development Unit of the college. She is also involved in monitoring and supervision of the research and projects, ethical reviews and research linkages of the university. She has also served on the CvSU Ethics Review Board (ERB) and is an External /Medical Member of the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute Independent Ethics Committee (IEC). Prior to joining CvSU, Prof. Panaligan received her Master of Arts in Nursing degree major in Nursing Administration from the University of Santo Tomas and is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing at University of the Philippines Manila. She is also a member of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Region IV-A Consortium Research Management Committee. As current president of the Philippine Nurses Association Cavite Chapter, much of her work focuses on promoting nurses’ welfare, social relevance and development. She is also the president of the Philippine Nursing Research Society Cavite Cell. Most of her research and extension works are focused on maternal and child care, community and public health, ethics, disaster research, gender and development, nursing education, administration and policy development.

Dr Alex Phang Kean Chang

Dr Alex Phang Kean Chang is a clinical scientist by profession who earns a PhD in Pathology, dual master’s degrees in health research Ethics and Medical Sciences (Pathology), besides holding a bachelor’s degree in Biohealth Science. He is currently serving as the Secretary (Manager) at the University of Malaya Medical Centre-Medical Research Ethics Committee where his core duties include managing the IRB and assisting in study protocol screening. Dr Alex received several ethics-related pieces of training and fellowships under World Health Organization, Department of Bioethics, NIH United States and WCG IRB-New York University Langone Health. He has a great interest in researching the ethical issues surrounding emerging technologies and epidemic ethics as well as the quality improvement of IRB’s services to ensure the protection of human subjects in health research. He is currently one of the faculty members for the Master of Health Research Ethics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. Lastly, Dr Alex has a tremendous interest in medical humanities to shape future medical or healthcare providers who are creative, empathic, and intellectually adaptable. He is appointed as an affiliate member of the Academy Sciences of Malaysia (YSN-ASM) since 2020.

Rose Anne

Rose Anne is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Community Dentistry at the College of Dentistry of the University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila). She finished her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the same college, took up her Master of Public Health at the University of the Philippines Open University, and her Diploma in Health Professions Education at the National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions also at UP Manila. She teaches dental public health and research courses in the college, has been a Member-Secretary of Panel 5A (undergraduate research) of the University of the Phillipines Manila Research Ethics Board since 2016, and is also in the Interprofessional Education (IPE) core group of the Community Health and Development Program of UP Manila.

Mellissa Withers

Mellissa Withers, PhD, MHS is Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is based at the University of Southern California Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. She also is also Director of the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 56 universities. She received a PhD from the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley. Her research interests lie in community participatory research, mental health, gender-based violence, immigrant health, and global sexual and reproductive health. Dr Withers is the editor of two books: Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Lifecourse, and Global Health Leadership: Case Studies from the Asia-Pacific (in press). She has also published more than 40 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of six international global health journals. She also writes a blog on human trafficking titled Modern-Day Slavery for Psychology Today.

Catherine Zhou

Catherine Zhou, PhD is a Teaching Associate at the Office of the Dean of Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Prior to this she worked at the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has a PhD degree in computer science and engineering and currently focuses on research postgraduate student education. Her teaching and research interests include research integrity, emotional resilience and intelligence, and mentorship. She is in charge of the research postgraduate student professional development program within the School of Engineering. Catherine is interested in student-centered teaching and learning strategies, such as e-learning, blended learning, flipped classroom, and experiential learning.

Jonathan R. Guillemot

Jonathan R. Guillemot is a professor and researcher in gerontology at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador. Beyond his role as a lecturer, he is the director of the training programme of caregivers of older people. His interests include this sociology of aging (including caregiving attitudes towards older people and the political involvement of older people). His main ongoing research includes “osteoporosis drug selection processes in England and France”, “decision to protest among older indigenous people in Ecuador”, among others. He graduated in Gerontology at King’s College London, UK, and in Political Sociology at Universite de Lille 2, Lille, France.

Haytham A. Sheerah

Haytham A. Sheerah is an epidemiologist who specializes in Nutrition Epidemiology, Non-Communicable Diseases, and Global health. Currently, Dr. Sheerah is accepted in the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) 2021 Post-Graduate Program at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sheerah has completed his doctoral degree from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine Department of Public Health in 2020. Prior to this, he had received his bachelor’s degree from King Saud University – Medical School in 2012. Dr. Sheerah worked in 2013 at King Saud University at The Center of Excellence in Thrombosis and Hemostasis (CETH) as a Project Manager. Afterward, in 2014 he worked at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre as a coordinator for national hemophilia research. For the past couple of years, Dr. Sheerah was involved in several cohort research studies. His interest and dedication to global health drove him to be a student ambassador in APRU Global Health. He is active in the ‘Your DNA, Your Say’ genetic research project.

Zaira Janet Gutiérrez Contreras

Zaira Janet Gutiérrez Contreras is a psychologist in charge of the prevention and attention to gender violence module of the Specialized Unit for Gender Equality and Equity. Zaira is a psychologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She has a specialty as a sexuality educator and gender violence psychotherapist. She completed the diploma in Bioethics, Health and Biolaw at the Institute of Legal Research of UNAM and the APRU Course on Ethics in Global Health in 2020. Her areas of interest are gender, sexuality, violence prevention, comprehensive well-being and bioethics. Her work is dedicated to the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights, in addition to providing sexuality education workshops to populations of various ages. She also provides accompaniment to women who decide on their bodies. Her motto “Educate to prevent” inspires her to accompany people of all ages to provide information and create experiences from teaching. She currently works in the gender unit of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana unit Cuajimalpa (UAM-Cuajimalpa) providing care to people who have experienced gender-based violence and promoting actions to prevent it, as well as providing advice to offenders.

Frida Romay Hidalgo

Frida Romay Hidalgo is a feminist lawyer from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) interested in global health, antimicrobial resistance, bioethics, and gender equity. She completed a diploma in Bioethics, Health, and Biolaw at the Institute of Legal Research of UNAM and the APRU Course on Ethics in Global Health. Furthermore, she has been a research assistant in several projects at the Legal Research Institute at UNAM and the Mexican National Institute of Public Health. In addition, she volunteered in the non-governmental organization “Movimiento CUS” as coordinator of bioethics and in the campaign “Oaxaca Libre de Chagas” as a legal consultant. Currently, she is the second in charge of the cause “Health and Wealth” in an NGO called “Nosotrxs.” For instance, she is working with two groups of organizations: one focuses on combating and mapping the lack of medicines, medical supplies, and vaccines; and, the other focuses on improving the labor and educational conditions for health professionals in training in Mexico. Two of her objectives are to pursue a master’s degree in global health and create an NGO linked to AMR in Mexico and Latin America. She wants to make the world a more equitable place where everyone is guaranteed the universal right to health.