Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Professor of Medical Anthropology, & Bioethics Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Director of UCSF Bioethics, UCSF

Barbara A. Koenig, PhD, RN, is Professor of Bioethics and Medical Anthropology, based at the Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco. She is the Director of “UCSF Bioethics,” a nascent program that spans ethics research, clinical ethics, and ethics education across the university’s four professional schools. Prof. Koenig pioneered the use of empirical methods in the study of ethical questions in science, medicine, and health. Prof. Koenig’s current focus is emerging genomic technologies, including biobanking policy and using deliberative democracy to engage communities about research governance. Originally a pediatric nurse and later a medical anthropologist, Koenig has devoted her career to probing the controversies that swirl around the end of life, genomics and informed consent. Koenig’s career developed under the guidance of Albert Jonsen, PhD, a Jesuit scholar and former president of the University of San Francisco. She spent five years on the faculty during the AIDS epidemic, before going to Stanford and then the Mayo Clinic to start ethics programs. Koenig returned to UCSF in 2012 as a faculty member in the School of Nursing’s Institute for Health and Aging and began working on ethical issues surrounding precision medicine.

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