Program in Ethics and Brain Sciences

The first formal collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute

The goal of the program (PEBS) is to ensure that research in brain science proceeds with an informed and sophisticated understanding of attendant ethical and social issues, and that philosophical and empirical analysis of the advances in brain research proceeds with an informed and sophisticated understanding of the science.

Founded in 2003, PEBS is currently focusing on concepts that are critical to understanding the moral dimensions of scientific advances in our understanding of the brain and the clinical management of disease and injury therein, such as—personal identity, moral responsibility and free will, and the meaning of the neural basis of morality. Past projects include a consensus conference that gathered key stakeholders to discuss the scientific and ethical challenges associated with deep brain stimulation for disorders of mood, behavior and thought. PEBS is an interdisciplinary endeavor, both in subject and in membership. Group discussion ranges from moral philosophy to novel therapeutic approaches to disease and from public policy to basic science.



  • Personal Identity Symposium Working Group on Interspecific Chimeric Brains Neurotherapeutics
  • Working Group on Human Trials of Cell-Based Interventions for Neurological Conditions
  • Deep Brain Stimulation for Disorders of Mood, Behavior and Thought: Scientific and Ethical Issues
  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Implications of Advances in Neuroscience
  • Ruth R. Faden, Ph.D., M.P.H., Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics; Professor, Health Policy & Management; Founding Director, Berman Institute
  • Gail Geller, Sc.D., Professor, Pediatrics and Health Policy & Management; Core Faculty, Berman Institute
  • Alan Regenberg, MBE., Director of Outreach & Research Support, Associate Facult, Berman Institute