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Robert L. Klitzman

Professor of Psychiatry (in Sociomedical Sciences) at the Columbia University Medical Center


Director, Masters of Bioethics Program

Director, Ethics, Policy and Human Rights Core, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies

Dr. Robert Klitzman is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Joseph Mailman School of Public Health and the Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program at Columbia University. He has conducted research and written about a variety of ethical issues in medicine and public health to promote public and professional education concerning these issues. He has written eight books, and authored or co-authored over 90 articles, drawing on qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies. His work has appeared in JAMA, Science, and elsewhere, and also has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and other publications. He has received several awards for his work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the NY State Stem Cell Commission, and is member of the Research Ethics Advisory Panel of the US Department of Defense.   View Faculty CV here (PDF).
Areas of Expertise
Education & Training:

    MD, 1985, Yale University

    BA, 1980, Princeton University

Honors and Awards:
  • Picker-Commonwealth Scholar Award 1996-9
  • Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar 1999-2000
  • Individual Residency, Rockefeller Foundation Conference and Study Center, Bellagio, Italy, 2003
  • Merck Company Foundation Fellow, Yaddo, 2001
  • Aaron Diamond Foundation Fellow, 1993-6
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Journal of Homosexuality
New York City
    Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing Project URL: http://www.amazon.com/Am-My-Genes-Confronting-Secrets/dp/0199837163/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

    Dr. Klitzman's recent book, Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing, based on in-depth interviews with individuals who have or are at risk of a variety of genetic diseases, examines their views of privacy, decisions about genetic testing, participation in research, disclosures to family members and others, etc.

    Ethics of HIV Vaccine Trials: IRB Members' Views
    Dr. Klitzman recently completed a study examining how Institutional Review Board (IRB) members in the United States and the developing world view and approach the complex ethical issues concerning the conduct of HIV vaccine trials. The study explores the role of social, cultural, and other factors that may shape decision-making processes on IRBs. He has published several papers based on this work, and has a book in press.

    When Doctors Become Patients Project URL: http://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Become-Patients-Robert-Klitzman/dp/B003GAN0QW/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

    Dr. Klitzman's book, When Doctors Become Patients, is based on a series of in-depth interviews with 70 physicians who became patients due to a variety of serious illnesses. The book examines how these individuals change their views of risks and benefits, doctor-patient relationships and interactions, end of life care, spirituality, and other issues.

    Ethics of HIV Vaccine Trials: IRB Members' Views
    Dr. Klitzman is interviewing IRB members in the US, South Africa, Thailand, and elsewhere
    Countries: South Africa;Thailand

Selected Publications:

Contact Information


1051 Riverside Dr.,Unit #29

NY, NY 10025

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646 774 6912