Advisory Board

Dr. Glenn McGee

Glenn McGee, Ph.D. is John B. Francis Endowed Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. The Francis Chair is a position of outreach, research and public policy created by a $3 million endowment from the Francis Family Foundation.
Glenn is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Bioethics, the highest impact journal in bioethics, health law, health economics (and 11 other areas), and a faculty member in public health and law as well as bioethics.
He is also active in public discussion of the ethics of bioethics, translational medicine and biomedical research; a commentator for CNN, he has authored a monthly column for The Scientist, the most widely read magazine for scientists, authored a syndicated column through the New York Times News Service, and his commentary has appeared in virtually every English language newspaper and in appearances on 60 Minutes, Today, 360, This Week, News Hour, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Oprah among others.
He has authored dozens of articles in major journals of medicine, science, public policy, law, and for the general public, patients, and families.
Glenn was trained in philosophy, genetics and environmental studies at Baylor, Vanderbilt, and the National Institutes of Health. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship from the U.S. Human Genome Project (NIH NHGRI, ELSI Division). In 2008, Baylor University named him one of its top 150 graduates of all time, and in 2000 an Outstanding Young Alumnus, the only ethicist ever so honored.
Glenn has advised scientific organizations, companies, and government commissions on dozens of occasions and has served on the boards of directors or as advisor to the largest not-for-profit or for-profit organizations in stem cell research, genomics, and clinical research.
He is an active collaborator who is often credited with advancing scientific partnerships through bioethics. As a result, in 2008, he was the first academic ever named one of the “10 most influential people in the New York Capital”, for his integration of the biomedical sciences efforts in Upstate New York. He was also the only academic named to the Chambers of Commerce’s top 40 under 40 lists in either Albany (2007) or the city of Philadelphia (2004).
Science wrote in 2007 that his work was one of the prime reasons for the “entry of Upstate New York onto the radar screen of prestigious biomedicine”. Philadelphia magazine described him as “the problem solver” of his generation, and Seed magazine described Glenn in 2004 as “America’s most imaginative young academic”.
Glenn has received more than $6 million in grant funding from the Greenwall Foundation, the US Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, Haas Foundation, and others.
His recent work has focused on ethical issues in the life sciences. He has authored more than 150 articles on a number of issues in bioethics for medical, legal, business and scientific journals, such as Science, Nature Medicine, and JAMA. His books include Who Owns Life?, Pragmatic Bioethics, The Human Cloning Debate, The Perfect Baby, and most recently Beyond Genetics, a New York Times bestseller about biotechnology and society.
In 2011 he will release a textbook in bioethics called Controversial Issues in Bioethics, and a collection of his essays entitled 50 Cautionary Tales from Translational Medicine: The Uses of 21st Century Bioethics. His work has ranged widely across many issues and has been widely cited. It has included a number of articles whose influence on the field of bioethics is acclaimed uniformly, including work in the areas of compensation of research subjects, models for parenting and enhancement, a pragmatic theory of bioethics, the patenting and sale of biological materials, ethical issues in tissue and gene banks, and ethical issues in stem cell research.
Glenn began his career as associate director, under Dr. Arthur Caplan, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, where he started the nation’s first formal undergraduate major in bioethics and directed Penn’s Masters in Bioethics, and worked for ten years from 1995–2005.
As a teacher, he was hailed by the New York Times for creating an undergraduate class in which students must submit fully articulate proposed legislation in bioethics to their home state government in order to receive an “A”.
From 2007–2009 he was a Director at Large of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities. Glenn was Chief of Bioethics for the State of New York’s public health labs, the Wadsworth Institute, and created the nation’s only project (at the Rockefeller Institute of Government) devoted to the role of the states in bioethics. He has held two endowed chairs and received tenure and promotion directly from Assistant to full Professor of Medicine.
He is very active in public policy. He was given the lifetime achievement award of the Appignagni Foundation, at the United Nations in 2006. He has testified before the U.S. House and Senate and multiple committees of a number of states in the U.S., and before bodies of other governments internationally. He has taught bioethics to incoming members of the U.S. Congress and teaches workshops on bioethics for the Association of Chief Justices of the US Courts of Appeals.
His work has including writing the text that became bills or stem cell legislation in four states, and cloning legislation in seven; his testimony to California on its own cloning policy was published in Great American Speeches. Glenn has been honored for his role as member and ethicist on the FDA’s Panel on Molecular and Cellular Genetics. He was the American external evaluator of all genetics and policy grantees for the United Kingdom’s Economic & Social Research Council in 2007. He has conducted study in Iceland of the DeCode Icelandic biotechnology/pharmacogenomics database, and participated in planning and study groups for the NIH and CDC on plans for ethics “for the 21st century”. He has served on numerous study sections for NIH and other government and foundation organizations making funding decisions.
In 2006 he organized “Bioethics and Politics”, the first national conference to bring together conservative and liberal thinkers in biomedical ethics, hailed as “the most important bioethics conference in 25 years” by the President of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities.
Glenn has delivered more than 80 named or endowed lectureships and hundreds of major lectures. He has been elected to the boards of directors of several national foundations and organizations including Planned Parenthood of the US.
Glenn is the acknowledged pioneer and leader in electronic outreach in bioethics, now the primary way in which bioethics reaches patients, physicians, and the general public. His work on the Internet includes the Editor’s Blog on ethics in medicine, which receives tens of millions of visits every year, and he directs bioethics’ leading website,
Thanks to a joint effort led by Glenn with Apple Computer & Google, he created the most successful online graduate program in bioethics, which brought together video, audio, live interaction, journal interaction with AJOB, and student-professor partnership resulting in a Certificate in Clinical Ethics and MS in Bioethics. He did this as a result of Science Foo Camp, the annual meeting sponsored by Nature and Google of the “100 most innovative leaders in new technology”, for which he has been selected three times.
Watch Perfect Baby — Eugenics, Race, and Bioethics and A Conversation About Cloning. Watch his YouTube channel. Read The Born Identity. Visit his Facebook page. Read his Google+ profile, his LinkedIn profile, and his Wikipedia profile. Follow his Twitter feed.