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Ethics Committee

Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. (Chair), is the fifteenth New York State Commissioner of Health. His nomination by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was confirmed by the State Senate on January 24, 2011, making him the first Indian-American to serve as State Commissioner of Health as well as the youngest person named to the post. An expert in the use of systems-based methods to improve patient outcomes, Dr. Shah has been a leading researcher in the use of large-scale clinical laboratories and electronic health records to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care. He is a nationally recognized thought leader in the methods needed to transition to lower-cost, patient-centered health care for the 21st century. Before his government service, Dr. Shah was attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, associate investigator at the Geisinger Center for Health Research in central Pennsylvania, and assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine in value and comparative effectiveness. Dr. Shah also has conducted research into advancing preventive care for patients with cardiovascular disease and improving cardiovascular disease surveillance and public health. A native of Buffalo, Dr. Shah is an honors graduate of Harvard College and received his medical degree and master's degree in public health from the Yale School of Medicine. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA and a National Research Service Award Fellow at New York University. Dr. Shah is a fellow of American College of Physicians and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has served on the editorial boards of medical journals, has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles, and has received more than $4.5 million in research funding. He is certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Jann K. Armantrout is the Diocesan Life Issues Coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York. Her career has focused on safeguarding the dignity of the human person and promoting human rights in her present position and through her past work with the developmentally disabled population of New York State.  She received her B.A. in political science from SUNY New Paltz and is certified in Catholic healthcare ethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia,   Pennsylvania. Working with public policy groups on issues related to environmental stewardship, criminal justice and bioethics, Armantrout has developed the ability to communicate complex political and scientific concepts using common language.  While advocating for the advancement of science and medicine, Armantrout firmly believes that the least advantaged of society must not be exploited or their position worsened in the name of progress. 

Inmaculada de Melo-Martín is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Public Health, at Weill Cornell Medical College. She holds a Ph.D in Philosophy and an M.S. in Molecular Biology. Her research interests include bioethics and the philosophy of science. She has published widely on ethical and epistemological issues in reprogenetics. In her work she has been particularly concerned with calling attention to the importance of attending to the social and political context when assessing scientific and technological innovations. She has authored more than 80 publications and her work has been funded by the NSF and the NIH. She is active in promoting and practicing interdisciplinary collaborations that might contribute to improving dialogue between the sciences and the humanities and between the sciences and society. She is the author of Making Babies: Biomedical Technologies, Reproductive Ethics, and Public Policy and Taking Biology Seriously: What Biology Can and Cannot Tell Us about Moral and Public Policy Issues.

Nancy Neveloff Dubler, LL.B., is Senior Associate at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics, and Professor Emerita of Bioethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and her LL.B. from the Harvard Law School. Ms. Dubler founded and directed the Bioethics Consultation Service at Montefiore Medical Center from 1978-2008 as a support for the analysis of difficult clinical cases presenting ethical issues in the health care setting. This service uses mediation as its process. She lectures extensively and is the author of numerous articles and books on termination of care, home care and long-term care, geriatrics, adolescent medicine, prison and jail health care and AIDS. She was Co-Director of the Certificate Program in Bioethics and the Medical Humanities, operated jointly by Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine with Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University. Her most recent books are: The Ethics and Regulation of Research with Human Subjects, Coleman, Menikoff, Goldner and Dubler, LexisNexis, 2005; and Bioethics Mediation: A Guide to Shaping Shared Solutions, co-author, Carol Liebman, United Hospital Fund, New York, New York, 2004. She consults often with federal agencies, national working groups and bioethics centers.

Brooke Ellison, Ph.D., has worked as an advocate for stem cell research for nearly a decade. In 1990, at the age of 11, she was in an accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. However, Ms. Ellison never let her physical situation stand in the way of what she could achieve, and she graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2000 and from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2004. In 2002, she published an autobiography, Miracles Happen, which was later made into a movie directed by Christopher Reeve. For more than a decade, she has worked across the country as a public speaker, delivering her message of hope, optimism and strength in the face of obstacles, using her own experiences as a vehicle to convey the message. Ms. Ellison was a candidate for New York State Senate in 2006, focusing on the need for New York to embrace funding for stem cell research. She has continued her work in the field of stem cell research and in July 2007 formed a non-profit organization, The Brooke Ellison Project, to educate and mobilize on behalf of the research. In addition, working with leading scientists and advocates in the field, she has produced a documentary on stem cell research.  She earned her Ph.D. from SUNY Stonybrook in 2012.

Samuel Gorovitz, Ph.D., former Dean of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, led in the development of the field of medical ethics and has published extensively on other topics in philosophy and public policy. He has given more than 200 invited lectures in dozens of countries on five continents, and in 1989 led a National Institutes of Health regional workshop on research with human subjects. His publications include more than 120 articles, reviews and editorials in philosophical journals, medical journals, public policy journals and newspapers. He is a co-author of the book, Philosophical Analysis, and an editor of several anthologies. His two most recent books are, Doctors' Dilemmas: Moral Conflict and Medical Care; and Drawing the Line: Life, Death, and Ethical Choices in an American Hospital. In fall 1996, he served as the Baker-Hostetler Professor of Law at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and in fall 1998 was Visiting Scholar in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. Since 1988 he has served, by gubernatorial appointment, on the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. He was Dearing-Daly Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University from 2001-2004, and during 2004-2005 was Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Bioethicist in Residence at Yale. He is Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University.

Robert Klitzman, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Socio-medical Sciences) in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Joseph Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He co-founded and for five years co-directed the Columbia University Center for Bioethics, and is currently the Director of the Ethics, Policy and Human Rights Core of the HIV Center, and a member of the Division of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics at Columbia. Dr. Klitzman has written numerous articles and book chapters, as well as six books, examining ethical, social, psychological and policy issues related to stem cells, research ethics, genetic testing, reproductive decision-making, privacy of genetic and other health information, Institutional Review Board decision-making, professional education and other areas. His most recent book, "Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing," was published in 2012.  He has also engaged in public education in medical ethics, and has written about these issues for the New York Times and other publications. Dr. Klitzman has received several honors and awards for his work, including fellowships from the Aaron Diamond Foundation, the American Psychiatric Association, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation.

H. Hugh Maynard-Reid, D.Min., B.C.C., C.A.S.A.C., is Director of the Pastoral Care Department in the North Brooklyn Health Network, Health and Hospitals Corporation of New York City. He is a Board Certified Chaplain and a Credentialed Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselor by the State of New York. He also is certified in Human and Medical Bioethics. Previously, Rev. Dr. Maynard-Reid served as a minister for 15 years in New York City. He was also the Associate Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Studies at Northern Caribbean University (formerly West Indies College), and Adjunct Professor at Andrews University. He is a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and the Association of Professional Chaplains. He is an Advisory Member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island Pastoral Education and Chaplaincy Services. He served at North Brooklyn Network as a member of the Institutional Review Board and human research committee and is a member of the Ethics Committee. As a member of the Brooklyn Ecumenical Advisory, his community services work centers on community leaders' health education.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., has been Dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University since June 1, 2006. Prior to joining Einstein, he was Director of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive Diseases & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Spiegel earned his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1967. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1971 and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He began his career at the NIH in 1973 as a Clinical Associate in its Endocrinology Training program, and then served as a Senior Investigator in the Metabolic Disease Branch. In 1985 he was appointed Chief of Molecular Pathophysiology, and then Chief of the Metabolic Diseases Branch. In 1990, he was appointed Director of the NIDDK's Division of Intramural Research, and in 1999, Director of the NIDDK with a staff of 625 full-time employees and a $1.7 billion budget. Dr. Spiegel is a widely renowned physician-scientist and endocrinologist with extensive experience in translational research programs. His research has centered on G-protein-regulated signaling dysfunction in human disease, and his work on signal transduction helped to clarify the genetic basis of several endocrine diseases. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and 100 reviews, as well as two books on G proteins.

Camille P. Wicher, Esq., R.N., M.S.N., is the Vice President of Clinical Operations, Corporate Ethics and Research Subject Protection at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She advises scientists, clinicians and the administration regarding ethical practices and scientific integrity within all facets of the Institute; and offers advice and counsel on issues related to patient advocacy, corporate compliance, risk management, human resources and business practices. Ms. Wicher supports ethics programs; monitors compliance with values and ethical conduct guidelines; facilitates an open environment in which employees feel comfortable bringing ethical issues forward; enhances the visibility of topics related to human subjects in health research, health law and policy for research; and offers training and professional development across departmental disciplines. She also chairs the Institute’s Corporate Ethics & Clinical Ethics Committee and the Institutional Conflicts of Interest Committee. She co-Chairs the Joint University of Buffalo/Roswell Park Cancer Institute Stem Cell Research Committee.  She continues her commitment to rigorous programs in protection of research subjects and scientific integrity. Since 2002 she has been responsible for administrative oversight as the Institutional Official for the Roswell Park Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  Ms. Wicher joined the staff of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in 1997 as Counsel for Risk Management and Corporate Compliance. She is the former chair of the Professional Liability Committee and serves on 12 additional Institute committees, has published several articles, and serves on the NYS Surrogate Decision Making Committee. Ms. Wicher will have her PhD in May 2013 in the area of end of life ethics through the University Of Buffalo School Of Nursing.