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Yale Bioethics

Bioethics Center Staff


Stephen Latham
Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Senior Lecturer, Political Science
Lecturer in Management
Contact: stephen.latham@yale.edu


Stephen R. Latham became Director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics in 2011, having been Deputy Director since 2008. For the previous nine years, he had been Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law & Policy at Quinnipiac University School of Law; during that time, he also taught business ethics at the Yale School of Management each year. Click here for his full bio page.


Carol Pollard, MA, MSc
Associate Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Director, Summer Institute in Bioethics
Contact: carol.pollard@yale.edu

203 432-6188

Fifteen years ago there was no Bioethics Center at Yale.  There was only the wish for one in the minds of many people on Yale’s campus.  I was part of the movement to establish a bioethics presence on the campus.  Working with Margaret Farley, Robert Levine, Arthur Galston, and Don Green (immediate past director of The Institution for Social & Policy Studies), the dream became a reality.  The formation of the Center made use of many of my past and present interests.  I worked in hospital administration for eleven years, where I became acquainted with ethical issues involving euthanasia, quality of life, abortion, doctor/patient relationships, and end-of-life decision-making.  For ten years after that, I founded and directed an international human rights organization that dealt, for the most part, with prisoner rights and acquainted me with international ethical values regarding human life.  The connection between these two areas – health/medical care and human rights – became very clear once I discovered the field of bioethics, and I’ve been happily ensconced in this area of study ever since.  It’s where I was heading and didn’t even know it.  Ten years ago I started our summer program in bioethics with eight students.  In 2012, we had 58 students from all over the world who came for eight weeks of intensive study at our newly named “Bioethics Summer Institute.”  My responsibility at the Center has shifted, exclusively, to directing this program.  It is truly a labor of love.  I am also a Silliman Fellow and a member of the Center’s executive committee.


Mark R. Mercurio, MD, MA

Associate Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Director, Pediatric Ethics Program, Medical School
Contact: mark.mercurio@yale.edu

I have spent many years practicing and teaching neonatology at Yale and elsewhere. My interest in bioethics began with an undergraduate course taught by Paul Ramsey, and was rekindled during my neonatology training.  I have spent the past 21 years serving on hospital ethics committees, chairing or co-chairing three of them, and thus have broad exposure to ethical dilemmas faced by clinicians, families, and patients of all ages. My main interest, however, has remained ethical issues in pediatrics. Many years ago I began auditing ethics-related classes at Yale, and then spent several years earning a Master’s Degree in philosophy at Brown.   My academic focus for the past several years has been to apply philosophical concepts and reasoning to clinical problems. In that capacity, my work at the Bioethics Center has been to help bridge the main campus (the non-clinical faculty and staff of the Bioethics Center) and the medical campus, bringing the perspective and experience from each to the other. Last year I became an Associate Director of the Center, and I continue to work toward that end.  I currently serve as Director of the Yale Pediatric Ethics Program, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, and an attending neonatologist at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.  In addition, I direct education in medical ethics for the pediatrics residents and fellows, and physician associate students, as well as a seminar series in ethics for medical students. I am Chair of the Pediatric Ethics Committee.

Lori Bruce
Assistant Director, Bioethics Summer Institute
Director, Community Bioethics Forum, Program for Biomedical Ethics, Yale School of Medicine

Lori Bruce became Assistant Director of the Summer Institute in 2011.  Before Yale, Lori was at a social neurosciences laboratory at Harvard University, conducting research on the neural mechanisms relating those who are prodromal to psychotic disorders. Lori has served on bioethics committees at Harvard (including the Cambridge Health Alliance and the innovative Community Ethics Committee) and has helped to author improved policy on a wide range of issues, including pediatric organ donation after cardiac death, palliative sedation, and doctor/patient social media communications.  Lori has consulted for a member of President Obama’s Commission on Bioethics, has presented research regarding the community’s role in bioethics to the American Society of Bioethics & Humanities, and has lectured at Boston University School of Medicine and guest-lectured at Harvard University.

Lori is currently a member of Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Adult Ethics Committee. She also serves as Vice President of Community Voices in Medical Ethics (a nonprofit) and directs the Community Bioethics Forum at Yale Medical School’s Program for Biomedical Ethics (under Mark Mercurio’s leadership). Both of these organizations bring bioethical issues to the public’s awareness.

Lori co-teaches the “Empathy and the Practice of Medicine” seminar, teaches the Neuroethics seminar, and greatly enjoys working with the students on their summer research initiatives.


Laurie Hurshman
Program Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics

Contact: laurie.hurshman@yale.edu

   203 432-9736

I joined the center staff in June 2008.  My husband is a PhD student in comparative literature here at Yale.  We met at Williams College, where I received my degree in Psychology in 1999.


Tara C. Trapani
Administrator, The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Contact: tcmk@aya.yale.edu

I have been working with the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale since the spring of 2007. The Forum, the world’s leading source of information and action on the emergent field of religion and ecology, has developed into a dynamic force for religious environmentalism in an ever-widening community.  Created in 1998 at Harvard following a series of ten landmark conferences covering each of the world’s major religions and its current and historical relation to ecology, the Forum is now headquartered here at Yale University under the guidance of founders Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim.

The Forum recently held a conference at Yale Divinity School on grassroots religious-environmentalism, and our upcoming projects include the release of the new film, Journey of the Universe, by Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker.

I met Mary Evelyn and John while studying at Yale, where I received my Master of Arts in Religion, with a concentration in Ethics. My undergraduate studies focused on comparative religion and interreligious dialogue, but I also received certification in educational administration and community development.  I have a background in educational administration as the former administrator of a private elementary school, and I later ran the offices of a Connecticut-based mental healthcare practice.

My own personal interests lie in the areas of interreligious dialogue, environmental ethics, animal rights, the arts in elementary and secondary school education, and the global ethical implications of climate change.