Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH

Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director; Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy


1809 Ashland Avenue
Room 104
Baltimore, MD 21205
  • Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director
    Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy
    Berman Institute of Bioethics
  • Professor
    Dept. of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, is the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, a position he assumed in July 2016, and was re-appointed to for a second five-year term in 2023. From 2011, he has been the inaugural Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy.  He is also Professor in the Dept. of Health Policy and Management of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He works in a variety of areas of bioethics, exploring the intersection of ethics and health/science policy, including human and animal research ethics, public health, and ethical issues in emerging biomedical technologies.

Read More

Prof. Kahn has served on numerous state and federal advisory panels. He was most recently chair of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy, and previously chaired its committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research (2011); the committee on Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights (2014); and a committee on the Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques (2016).  He also formerly served as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

In addition to committee leadership and membership, Prof. Kahn is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected Fellow of The Hastings Center.  He was also the founding president of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors, an office he held from 2006-2010.

Prof. Kahn is a co-principal investigator with Berman Institute faculty member Gail Geller, ScD, MHS, on GUIDE: Genomic Uses in Infectious Disease and Epidemics, an NIH-funded project to study the largely unexplored ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomics as applied to infectious disease.

Prof. Kahn’s publications include Contemporary Issues in BioethicsBeyond Consent: Seeking Justice in Research; Ethics of Research With Human Subjects: Selected Policies and Resources; The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics (editor); Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response (editor);  as well as more than 125 scholarly and research articles.  He also speaks widely across the U.S. and around the world on a range of bioethics topics, in addition to frequent media outreach.  From 1998-2002 he wrote the bi-weekly column Ethics Matters on In 2023, he served as executive producer of a bioethics podcast, playing god?

Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Prof. Kahn was Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota.

Research Interests

  • The intersection of ethics and health/science policy
  • Human and animal research ethics
  • Public health
  • Ethical issues in emerging biomedical technologies.


  • PhD, Georgetown University
  • MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles

Recent Publications

  1. Hutler B, Blasimme A, Gur-Arie R et al. incl.Kahn J. “Assessing the Governance of Digital Contact Tracing in Response to COVID-19: Results of a Multi-National Study.” Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 50(4): 791-804; 2022.
  2. Rieder TN, Hutchinson LA, Kahn JP. “Why the World Needs Bioethics Communication.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 65(4): 629-636; 2022.
  3. Hughes MT, Auwaerter PG, Ehmann MR, Garibaldi BT, Golden SH, Lorigiano T, O’Conor KJ, Kachalia A, Kahn J. “The importance of offering vaccine choice in the fight against COVID-19.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2021; 118:e2117185118.
  4. Gerber, JE, Brewer, J, Rupali, JL, et al. incl. Kahn, JP, “Vaccinomics: a cross-sectional survey of public values.” Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, June 2021, DOI: 10.1080/21645515.2021.1911217
  5. Hughes, MT, Kahn, JP, Kachalia, A, “Who Goes First? Government Leaders and Prioritization of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines.” The New England Journal of Medicine, January 2021. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMpv2036128.
  6. Ferretti, A, Ienca, M, Sheehan, M, et al incl. Kahn, JP, “Ethics review of big data research: What should stay and what should be reformed?” BMC Medical Ethics 22 (51); 2021. DOI:
  7. Geller, G, Duggal, P, Thio, CL, et al incl. Kahn JP, “Genomics in the Era of COVID-19: Ethical Implications for Clinical Practice and Public Health.” Genome Medicine 12 (95); 2020. DOI:
  8. Kahn, JP, Henry, LM, Mastroianni, AC, Chen, WH, Macklin, R, “For Now, It’s Unethical to Use Human Challenge Studies for SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Development,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct 2020. DOI:
  9. Ehmann MR, Zink EK, Levin AB, et al incl. Kahn J, “Operational Recommendations for Scarce Resource Allocation in a Public Health Crisis,” CHEST, 159 (3): 1076-1083; March 2021. DOI: https://
  10. Kahn, JP, Mastroianni, AC, Venkatapuram, S. “Bioethics in a Post-COVID World: Time for Future- Facing Global Health Ethics,” in Brands, Hal and Francis J. Gavin, eds., COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation, Chapter 6. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.

12. Galiatsatos P, Kachalia A, Belcher HME, Hughes MT, Kahn J, Rushton CH Suarez JI, Biddison LD, Golden SH. Health equity and distributive justice considerations in critical care resource allocation. Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 8 (8): 758-760; 2020. DOI: 2600(20)30277-0.