Welcome to UCSF Bioethics
Welcome to UCSF Bioethics

An interdisciplinary community of clinicians, researchers, and educators addressing ethical questions in health and biomedical research.

UCSF Bioethics connects faculty, staff, students, and trainees from across UCSF, creating a protected space for moral reflection that spans the university’s professional schools and health system. Faculty members conduct original research and policy analysis on a wide range of topics. They consult on moral and ethical concerns while embedded within bioscience or clinical projects. They devise strategies to effectively incorporate patient and citizen input into ongoing governance of science, clinical practice, and public health practice. And they provide a Research Ethics Consultation Service and direct educational programs for UCSF’s four professional schools.

In all of these settings, our faculty members seek to answer this question: How can we ensure the ethical use of our ever-expanding technological prowess?


January Faculty Spotlight:
Julie Harris-Wai, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Institute for Health & Aging,
School of Nursing
Research Director, UCSF Genetic Counseling Program

I’m an interdisciplinary social and public health scientist with a focus on the ethical and socio-political implications of emerging genomic technologies. The goal of my work is to incorporate diverse community and stakeholder perspectives into health policy decision-making. I have helped spearhead community-engaged ELSI projects spanning colorectal cancer screening in African-American faith communities to biobanking governance in large population-based biorepositories, to genome sequencing research in diverse pediatric and prenatal populations.  
 
Previously, I served as the Associate Director of the Kaiser Permanente/UCSF Center for Excellence in Research on Translational Genomics and Ethics (CT2G). I led national working groups on stakeholder and community engagement in genomics research and previously directed community and bioethics advisory groups for the national Kaiser Permanente Research Bank- a population-based biorepository of Kaiser Permanente members. I led a research project on the use of deliberative community engagement methods to inform policy decisions about the future of California’s newborn screening and biobanking programs. Currently, I serve as the Research Director for the newly established UCSF Genetic Counseling Program. In my role, I teach courses on research methods and on social, ethical, and legal issues in genetics and mentor students in their research projects. I completed my PhD in public health and genetics from the University of Washington, and a postdoctoral fellowship in population health from the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars program. I also hold a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
 
In my spare time I enjoy competing in triathlons and being out on the water kayaking, paddleboarding, or just splashing around with my two kids.

Past Faculty Spotlights:
November 2022 - Sirisha Narayana, MD
August 2022 - Krista Harrison, PhD
July 2022 - Anna Chodos, MD, MPH