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 co-founded and for five years co-directed the Center for Bioethics, and for 10 years directed the Ethics and Policy Core of the HIV Center. 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 100 articles, drawing on qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies. His work has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, 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 a member of the Research Ethics Advisory Panel of the US Department of Defense. He has been interviewed about these issues widely by the media, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, the BBC and others.
Director, Masters of Bioethics Program
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing: 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.
When Doctors Become Patients: 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.
Select Global Activities
Ethics of HIV Vaccine Trials: IRB Members' Views, South Africa;Thailand: Dr. Klitzman is interviewing IRB members in the US, South Africa, Thailand, and elsewhere
Klitzman, R., When Doctors Become Patients
Klitzman, R., A Year-Long Night: Tales of a Medical Internship
Klitzman, R., In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist
Klitzman, R., Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women with HIV
Klitzman, R., and Bayer, R., Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS
Klitzman, R., Exclusion of genetic information from the medical record JAMA. 2010 September 8; 304(10): 1120-1
Klitzman, R., Appelbaum, P., To Protect Human Subjects, Review What Was Done, Not Proposed Science. 2012 March 30; 335(6076): 1576-7