Michael J. Deem, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics
  • Core Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law
  • Director, Consortium Ethics Program
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Philosophy of Science
  • Associate Director, Master of Arts in Bioethics
  • Associate Director, Undergraduate Certificate in Bioethics

Michael J. Deem is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics (School of Public Health) and Core Faculty in the Center for Bioethics & Health Law. Within the Center, he serves as Associate Director of the Master of Arts in Bioethics Program and a faculty member and advisor in the program. Within the School of Public Health, he is Associate Director of the undergraduate Certificate in Bioethics.

Dr. Deem also regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate level ethics courses in Pitt’s School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. For more than a decade, he has taught ethics to genetic counseling, nursing, medical, and public health students, and he has published multiple papers on interprofessional ethics education.

Since 2021, Dr. Deem has served as Director of Pitt’s Consortium Ethics Program, which provides continuing ethics education to healthcare professionals across western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, and northern Maryland.

Dr. Deem completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and the Pediatric Ethics and Genomics Fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Dr. Deem's primary research interests lie in healthcare ethics, philosophy of biology and medicine, and public health ethics.

He is currently collaborating on an NHGRI R25 project with colleagues at Duquesne University to develop Genomic Competencies for Nurses from Theory to Application: An Online Long Course. For Oxford University Press, he is co-editing two books:  Nursing Ethics: Normative Foundations, Advanced Concepts, and Emerging Issues (with School of Nursing and Center faculty member Jennifer Lingler) and The Oxford Handbook of Genetic Counseling (with Emily Farrow and Human Genetics and Center-affiliated faculty member Robin Grubs). Dr. Deem and Dr. Grubs’ monograph, Genetic Counseling Ethics: A Critical Introduction, is under contract with Oxford University Press, and his monograph, Conceptual Issues in Genomic Medicine, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. He has published in a wide-range of clinical, philosophy, and public health journals, including American Journal of Health Promotion, Analysis, Pediatrics, JAMA Pediatrics, Biology and Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Nursing Outlook, and International Journal of Public Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he became a frequent press and podcast commentator on vaccine hesitancy and nonmedical exemptions from vaccine mandates and gave several invited talks across the country on these issues.