Lisa S. Parker, PhD

  • Director, Center for Bioethics & Health Law
  • Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote Professor of Bioethics
  • Professor of Human Genetics, School of Public Health
  • Director, Master of Arts in Bioethics Program

Lisa Parker, a philosopher, is the Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote Professor of Bioethics, Director of the Center for Bioethics & Health Law, and Professor of Human Genetics in the School of Public Health. She directs the University’s Master of Arts in Bioethics Program in The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and is a co-director of the Area of Concentration in Medical Humanities and Ethics in the School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program and a fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science. She leads the University’s Research, Ethics, and Society Initiative, designed to foster campus-wide discussion of research ethics and the social implications of empirical research, scholarship, and technology development.

Dr. Parker has published extensively on ethical concerns related to the design and conduct of research, particularly genetic research and mental health research, as well as on aesthetic surgery, confidentiality, and informed consent.  Her research on ethical issues in genetics/genomics has focused on the ethical management of incidental findings and return of research results, pharmacogenomic research, and genetic enhancement. She has a sustained interest in employing feminist approaches to bioethical issues and in the critical analysis of bioethics as a social practice and field of inquiry.

Dr. Parker collaborates with investigators across the University, as well as nationally and internationally, on both empirical studies and theoretical and policy analyses. Topics of her research collaborations range from genomic sequencing and biobanking to depression treatment to traumatic brain injury and mild cognitive impairment. As Associate Director for Bioethics in the University’s Institute for Precision Medicine, she currently serves as an ethics consultant on studies involving biobanking and whole exome/genome sequencing in different patient populations, as well as the integration of whole genome sequencing data into the Test2Learn educational platform and development of educational modules teaching front-line providers and health system leaders to integrate genomic sequencing into clinical care.

Dr. Parker has chaired and is currently serving a second term on the Genomics and Society Working Group of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research for the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), where she has served on the study section of the ELSI Program (the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Program) and on national working groups examining the management of incidental findings and research results. She also serves on the Expert Scientific Panel of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network.. She is a reviewer for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, as well as national and international research programs including the US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the German Research Fund.

At the University, Dr. Parker was elected to the Faculty Assembly (2022-2025), co-chairs the Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee, and serves on the Humanities Council, the Human Data and Tissue Sharing Committee, the Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) Committee,  the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Drafting Committee, and the Women in Medicine & Science Forum Planning Committee. She previously served on the Global Health Certificate Planning Committee, the committee proposing the Certificate in Health Humanities, the Information Technology Advisory Committee's Data Governance Subcommittee, and the Plan for Pitt 2025 Steering Committee.

Dr. Parker served as a co-investigator for international research ethics training programs focused in China, Egypt, and India. At the University, her courses include Research Ethics and the Reponsible Conduct of Research, Bioethics, Ethical Issues in Genomic Medicine and Research (in the Honors College), and Gender, Ethics, and the Body, as well as thirty-one directed reading and special topics courses at the graduate level.

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