President Barack Obama has announced the members of his bioethics commission, which is expected to be more "policy-oriented and pragmatic" than its predecessor. Most notable on the list is probably Lonnie Ali, wife of the famous boxer, but we'll have more later on aspects of this slate. From the White House press release:
WASHINGTON - Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:
- Lonnie Ali, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Anita L. Allen, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Barbara Atkinson, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Nita A. Farahany, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Alexander G. Garza, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Christine Grady, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Stephen L. Hauser, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Raju Kucherlapati, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Nelson Michael, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
- Daniel Sulmasy, Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
The Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will advise the President on bioethical issues that may emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology.
It will work with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner. These candidates will join the current Chair, Amy Gutmann, and Vice-Chair, James Wagner, as Members on the Commission.
President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have decided to dedicate their talent and experience to this important Commission. I look forward to their recommendations in the coming months and years.”
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key administration posts:
Lonnie Ali, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Lonnie Ali is the wife of Muhammad Ali and has been an outspoken advocate working to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease as well as increase funding for research. In December of 2009, she and her husband opened the Lonnie and Muhammad Ali Pavilion which houses the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center on the campus of Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. The Center’s mission is to provide excellence in treatment, research, and education for patients and families affected by Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. She also helped found the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005, where she serves on the Board of Directors. In 1992, Mrs. Ali formed the Greatest of All Time, Inc. (G.O.A.T.) to manage the licensing and business of her husband’s intellectual properties and personal appearances. She served as G.O.A.T.’s Vice President and Treasurer until 2006 when the company was sold and renamed to Muhammad Ali Enterprises. Mrs. Ali remains on the board of Muhammad Ali Enterprises. Mrs. Ali has also served on the Board of Directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. She currently serves on the Michael J. Fox Foundation Founder’s Council and the Emory Neurosciences Community Advisory Board. Mrs. Ali holds a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from U.C.L.A.’s Anderson School of Management.
Anita L. Allen, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Anita L. Allen is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also serves as Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs of the school, and is Senior Fellow in the Bioethics Department, School of Medicine. A distinguished scholar of privacy law and practical ethics, Ms. Allen is recognized for her work on confidentiality in medicine, genetics and research, racial justice, and women’s health. She recently sat on the Executive Committee of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. In Philadelphia, Ms. Allen serves on the boards of the Maternity Care Coalition and the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. Allen served on the original National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and its Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Working Group in the 1990s. She is presently on the Board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health, collaborates with Penn’s Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Mental Health, and has written about how American families cope with addiction and mental disorders. Ms. Allen began her academic career an Assistant Professor at Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and was the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at Georgetown Law Center. Ms. Allen holds both a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Her B.A. is from New College, Florida.
Barbara Atkinson, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Barbara Atkinson became Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2005. She also concurrently serves as the Executive Dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and has done that since 2002. In these roles, she oversees the education of 3,000 students, as well as 2,500 faculty and staff and a budget of $225 million. Dr. Atkinson began her career at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she was Assistant and then Associate Professor and Director of the hospital's cytopathology laboratory from 1978 to 1987. She served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1994 and at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 1999, she was the Annenberg Dean of the MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine, now Drexel College of Medicine. She has held numerous national positions including Trustee and President of the American Board of Pathology and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Academic Health Centers. She has been a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences since 1997. She received her M.D. from the Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
Nita A. Farahany, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Nita A. Farahany is an Associate Professor of Law and Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on the legal, philosophical, and social issues arising from developments in the biosciences, particularly behavioral genetics and neuroscience. She has presented her work on bioethics, neuroethics, criminal law, and behavioral health law and policy, to wide-ranging audiences including the Second Circuit Judicial Conference, the National Judicial College, the Global Women's Forum, the Stanford Center for the Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. Dr. Farahany is a member of the New York Bar, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and the Society for Neuroethics. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Dr. Farahany clerked for the Honorable Judith W. Rogers on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in genetics, cell and developmental biology, and from Harvard University with an A.L.M. in biology. She earned her J.D., M.A., and Ph.D. in Philosophy of Biology and Jurisprudence at Duke University.
Alexander G. Garza, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Dr. Alexander Garza is the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. He has had an impressive career in medicine and public health issues in both civilian and military roles, specializing in emergency medicine. Prior to his time at DHS, he served as a staff physician of the Level I trauma center of Washington Hospital Center. Previously, he has also served as the Director of Military Programs at the ER One Institute at the Washington Hospital Center, the Associate Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services for the State of New Mexico, and as the Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services for the Kansas City Health Department. His military roles have included the Public Health Team Chief for Operation Flintlock in Dakar, Senegal, the Public Health Team Chief for Operation Iraqi Freedom I, a battalion surgeon, and as a special investigator/medical expert for MG Ray Odierno. He holds an M.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from St. Louis University School of Public Health.
Christine Grady, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Christine Grady is currently the Acting Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Her research focuses on research subject recruitment, incentives, vulnerability, and international research ethics. She is also a senior research fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and was elected as a fellow at both the American Academy of Nursing and the Hastings Center. She has previously served as a consultant to UNAIDS and the Pan American Health Organization and as a staff member to the President’s Commission on HIV Infection. Dr. Grady has authored over 75 papers in bioethics, HIV disease, and nursing, and has authored or edited several books. She graduated with a B.S. in nursing and biology from Georgetown University, a M.S.N. in community health nursing from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown.
Stephen L. Hauser, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Stephen L. Hauser, M.D. is the Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of California - San Francisco. A neuroimmunologist, Dr. Hauser’s research has focused on the genetic basis, immune mechanisms, and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Dr. Hauser is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Physicians, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (currently Chair of the Committee on Gulf War and Health Outcomes), an editor of the textbook Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, and editor-in-chief of Annals of Neurology. He is a former President of the American Neurological Association and President of the Medical Staff at UCSF. He also serves on several scientific advisory boards for nonprofit organizations. Dr. Hauser has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award and the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research. He trained in internal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and in immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Institute Pasteur in Paris, France, and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School before moving to UCSF. Dr. Hauser is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (S.B., 1971, Phi Beta Kappa) and the Harvard Medical School (M.D. 1975, Magna Cum Laude).
Raju Kucherlapati, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Dr. Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D. is the Paul C. Cabot Professor in the Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics. He is also a professor in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Kucherlapati was the first Scientific Director of the Harvard Medical School-Partners Healthcare Center for Genetics and Genomics. His research focuses on gene mapping, gene modification, and cloning disease genes. From 1989-2001 , Dr. Kucherlapati was the Lola and Saul Kramer Professor of Molecular Genetics and Chairman of the Department at the Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was previously a professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He began his research as an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University. He has chaired numerous NIH committees and served on the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research and the NCI Mouce Models for Human Cancer Consortium. He is also a member of the Cancer Genome Atlas project of the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National academy of sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Kucherlapati received his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from universities in India, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana, as well as conducting post-doctoral work at Yale University.
Nelson Michael, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Dr. Nelson Michael is the Director of the Division of Retrovirology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Director, U.S. Military HIV Research program (MHRP). Dr. Michael began with the Division in 1989. He has also served as the Chief of the Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Pathogenesis for eight years where he led the HIV Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Michael's research interests include HIV molecular pathogenesis and host genetics, HIV clinical research, and HIV vaccine development. He is concurrently an Associate Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University and is a Diplomat, American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Michael currently serves various NIH committees dealing with AIDS research and vaccines. He graduated summa cum laude from University of California, Los Angeles in 1979 with a degree in biology and from Stanford University with M.D. and Ph.D. (cancer biology) degrees in 1986. He trained in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital from 1986-1989.
Daniel Sulmasy, Appointee for Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, a Franciscan Friar, holds the Kilbride-Clinton Chair in Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School and is associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He was appointed by Governor Pataki to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law in 2005. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, and is the author of four books. Dr. Sulmasy’s research interests include both theoretical and empirical studies of ethics and spirituality in medicine. He received his A.B. and M.D. degrees from Cornell University and completed his residency, chief residency, and post-doctoral fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1995.