Research & Outreach

Our vision is to achieve more ethical practices and policies relevant to human health.

Our Mission is to identify and address key ethical issues in science, clinical care, and public health, locally and globally.

Through an ever-expanding array of programs and projects, the Berman Institute has a direct, positive impact on the health and well-being of millions of people in developed and developing countries around the world

Global Food Ethics & Policy Program
Deepening collaborations and partnerships, convening experts and leaders to shape policy, connecting scholars and scientists to societal players that shape the global food system
Considering ethical implications of personalized approaches to treating infectious diseases made possible by genomic technological advances
PREVENT (Pregnancy Research Ethics for Vaccines, Epidemics, and New Technologies)
Equitably including the interests of pregnant women and their offspring in vaccine research and development
JHU Exploration of Practical Ethics
Stimulating innovative interdisciplinary work that takes on ethical issues arising in professions and scholarly disciplines, within institutions and society

Projects Finder

Find projects related to your area of interest—or explore the work of our faculty and students.


In addition to their original research, scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and public awareness outreach, our faculty perform significant service – at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in the broader community.


We collaborate with institutions and networks in the U.S. and internationally to advance bioethics knowledge, capacity and infrastructure.

Areas of Impact

The Berman Institute is Johns Hopkins University’s home for collaborative scholarship on the ethics of clinical practice, public health and biomedical sciences. While our work by definition crosses disciplines, much of its impact falls into a few broad areas.
Eyeglasses for School Kids Boosts Academic Performance
Berman Institute's Megan Collins leads three-year clinical study linking access to eyeglasses with higher test scores
Exploring the Global Systems that Shape Diets and Nutrition for Nations Around the Globe
“Global Food Systems, Diets, and Nutrition: Linking Science, Economics, and Policy” text published by Berman Institute faculty
Map from the COMIT website
Global Policies on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy Vary Widely by Country
Berman Institute faculty create worldwide snapshot of policies influencing access to COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant and lactating people
Oct 11
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Seminar Series: The Paradoxical Fragility of the Norms of Protection of Health Care in War by Len Rubenstein, JD

Attend via Zoom
Passcode: Seminar

More than 150 years ago the first Geneva Convention outlawed attacks on wounded and sick soldiers and their caregivers in armed conflict.  Over time the law extended protections to civilians and required combatants to take affirmative precautions to avoid harm to health workers, hospitals, ambulances, and patients. These laws and their underlying norms are among the most widely accepted elements of international law. Yet the persistence and severity of violence of health care in war not only shows widespread noncompliance but suggests that competing, sometimes unarticulated, norms are employed to rationalize the violence.  

Leonard Rubenstein is a lawyer whose work focuses on health and human rights, especially the protection of health in armed conflict and the roles of health professionals in human rights. A core member of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, he has a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is Director of the Program on Human Rights, Health and Conflict at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights. and a core faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. 

Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, he served as Executive Director and then President of Physicians for Human Rights, as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and as Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. 

Oct 25
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Seminar Series: Rage Renegades with Myisha Cherry, MDiv, PhD

Attend via Zoom
Passcode: Seminar

“Rage Renegades” refer to allies with rage at racial injustice. They are rage renegades because although their privilege and place in a white-supremacist society is meant to guarantee that they will be complicit or engage in racism as a way to maintain racial domination, they instead show outrage at such a society. In doing so, they rebel against a racist system that was designed to benefit them exclusively. But rage renegading can also go wrong when it reinforces the same white supremacy that the rage aims to challenge. In this seminar, Professor Cherry will describe four ways in which this misdirection can happen as well as provide some suggestions for how to steer clear of it.  

Myisha Cherry is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. Her research is primarily concerned with the role of emotions and attitudes in public life. Cherry’s books include “UnMuted: Conversations on Prejudice, Oppression, and Social Justice” (Oxford University Press) and, co-edited with Owen Flanagan, “The Moral Psychology of Anger” (Rowman & Littlefield). Her latest book is “The Case for Rage: Why Anger is Essential to Anti-racist Struggle” (Oxford University Press). Her work on emotions and race has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Huffington Post, WomanKind, and New Philosopher Magazine. Cherry is also the host of the UnMute Podcast, where she interviews philosophers about the social and political issues of our day.