Johns Hopkins Celebrates Installation of Bioethics Institute Director

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The Johns Hopkins University celebrated with a ceremony marking the installation of  Jeffrey P. Kahn as the next  Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.


Kahn succeeded Berman Institute founding director Ruth Faden in July, 2016.

Established in 1995, the Berman Institute leverages an expert faculty from across the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Arts and Sciences, and Advanced International Studies to identify and address key ethical issues in science, clinical care, and public health, locally and globally.

Since 2011, Kahn has served as the Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy and the deputy director for policy and administration at the Berman Institute. He is also a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Kahn received a BA in microbiology from UCLA, an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a PhD in philosophy and bioethics from Georgetown University. Following faculty appointments at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he was director of the Graduate Program in Bioethics at the Center for the Study of Bioethics, he was appointed director of the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics in 1996.

At the University of Minnesota, Kahn was an associate and then full professor in the Department of Medicine, where he held the Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics. He held additional faculty appointments in the Philosophy Department, Clinical Research Graduate Program, School of Public Health, and Institute of Public Affairs, and he was a faculty fellow in the law school. During his 15-year tenure leading Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics, he founded the Association of Bioethics Program Directors, serving as its inaugural president from 2006 to 2010. He is also an elected fellow of the Hastings Center.

Kahn is a renowned leader in bioethics whose work explores the intersection of ethics and health and science policy, including human and animal research ethics, public health, and ethical issues in emerging biomedical technologies. During his more than 25-year career, he has been consistently funded to carry out groundbreaking interdisciplinary bioethics research. Most recently, the NIH awarded him and co-principal investigator Gail Geller a four-year, $4.15 million award to launch a Center of Excellence in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genomic Uses in Infectious Diseases and Epidemics.

Kahn has served on numerous state and federal advisory panels. He is currently chair of the National Academy of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy. He previously chaired the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research, the Committee on Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights, and the Committee on Ethical and Social Implications of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques. He also served on the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

He has published more than 115 articles in the bioethics and medical literature and is the co-author of Contemporary Issues in Bioethics and Beyond Consent: Seeking Justice in Research. He speaks widely around the world on a range of bioethics topics, in addition to frequent media outreach. From 1998 to 2002, he penned the biweekly “Ethics Matters” column on

Kahn has been engaged in numerous activities across Johns Hopkins. He is chair of the Public Interest Investment Advisory Committee, he co-chaired search committees for a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and the Bunting Professor in Clinical Ethics in the School of Nursing, and he has served on university-wide faculty advisory committees on digital education and MOOCs.