Program in Ethics and Brain Sciences

The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Neuroethics Program, the Program in Ethics and Brain Sciences (PEBS), represents the first formal collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute. The goal of PEBS is to ensure that research in brain science proceeds with an informed and sophisticated understanding of attendant ethical and social issues, and that philosophical and empirical analysis of the advances in brain research proceeds with an informed and sophisticated understanding of the science.

Founded in 2003, PEBS is currently focusing on concepts that are critical to understanding the moral dimensions of scientific advances in our understanding of the brain and the clinical management of disease and injury therein, such as—personal identity, moral responsibility and free will, and the meaning of the neural basis of morality. Past projects include a consensus conference that gathered key stakeholders to discuss the scientific and ethical challenges associated with deep brain stimulation for disorders of mood, behavior and thought. PEBS is an interdisciplinary endeavor, both in subject and in membership. Group discussion ranges from moral philosophy to novel therapeutic approaches to disease and from public policy to basic science.


  • Hilary Bok, Ph.D., Henry R. Luce Professor of Bioethics & Moral and Political Theory, Department of Philosophy; Core Faculty, Berman Institute
  • Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H., Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Director, Geriatric Psychiatry; Core Faculty, Berman Institute Assistant Director for Science Programs
  • Debra Mathews, Ph.D., M.A., Berman Institute


  • Marilyn Albert, Ph.D., Professor, Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Director, Division of Cognitive Neurosciences
  • Brian S. Appleby, M.D., Fellow, Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Ted M. Dawson, M.D. Ph.D., Professor, Neurology and Neuroscience
  • J. Raymond DePaulo, M.D., Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Director and Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
  • Ruth R. Faden, Ph.D., M.P.H., Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics; Professor, Health Policy & Management; Director, Berman Institute John Freeman, M.D., Professor, Neurology and Pediatrics; Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Center; Core Faculty, Berman Institute
  • Michela Gallagher, Ph.D., Krieger-Eisenhower Professor; Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience; Chair, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
  • Gail Geller, Sc.D., Professor, Pediatrics and Health Policy & Management; Core Faculty, Berman Institute
  • John W. Griffin, M.D., Professor, Neurology, Neuroscience, and Pathology; Director and Neurologist-in-Chief, Department of Neurology
  • Kay Jamison, Ph.D., Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
  • Richard Johnson, M.D., Professor, Neurology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and Neuroscience
  • Paul McHugh, M.D., Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry; Chair Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Professor of Mental Hygiene
  • Guy M. McKhann, M.D., Professor, Neurology; Professor, Neuroscience; Director Zanvyl Krieger Mind-Brain Institute
  • Alan Regenberg, M.Be., Senior Research Program Coordinator, Berman Institute
  • Christopher A. Ross, M.D, Ph.D., Professor, Psychiatry; Professor, Neurology; Professor, Neuroscience; Director, Division of Neurobiology
  • Andrew Siegel, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Assistant Scientist, Health Policy and Management; Core Faculty, Berman Institute

Affiliate Members

  • Solomon Snyder, M.D., D.Sc., D.Phil., Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences; Director, Department of Neuroscience
  • Meredith Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Philosophy


  • Personal Identity Symposium Working Group on Interspecific Chimeric Brains Neurotherapeutics
  • Working Group on Human Trials of Cell-Based Interventions for Neurological Conditions
  • Deep Brain Stimulation for Disorders of Mood, Behavior and Thought: Scientific and Ethical Issues
  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Implications of Advances in Neuroscience


2014 International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting. November 13-14, 2014. Washington, DC. 

At this meeting you will:                                                                  

  • Learn the latest on the United States National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative and the European Commission Human Brain Project.  Speakers include NIH Directors, Congressman Chaka Fattah, co-director of the Human Brain Project Henry Markram and a representative from the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issue.                                                                       CHECK OUT THE MANY PRESTIGIOUS SPEAKERS HERE
  • Hear about international case studies of neuroscience in the courtroom
  • Discuss human rights in the neuroethics dialogue
  • AND engage in networking opportunities during breakfast, lunch and two receptions. 

Public Event on November 13:

“Neuroscience Knowledge & the Robotic Mind.”  We kick off our meeting with a thought-provoking public event on November 13 from 5 – 7 p.m. More details will be on the website soon.

All-day Annual Meeting on November 14:   Confirmed speakers are

Paul Catley, Open University, UK; Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa; Lisa Clayton, University of Manchester; Katy deKogel, Dutch Ministry of Justice; Nita Farahany, Duke University; Chaka Fattah, US House of Representatives; Stephen Hauser, President’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues; Tom Insel, National Institute of Mental Health; George Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism; Story Landis, National Institute of Neurological Disease & Stroke; Alan Leshner, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Geoff Ling, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Henry Markram, Human Brain Project; Steven Marks, Harvard University of Public Health; Barbara Sahakian, Cambridge University & INS President; John Williams, Wellcome Trust & more.  Check the website for updates 

Both events take place at the award-winning American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Building, 12th & H Streets, NW. Washington, D.C. 

Space is limited!  REGISTER  before September 15 to receive a discount.     

Learn more at

PEBS Contact

Alan Regenberg
1809 Ashland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21205