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Robert Klitzman, M.D.

Academic Director, M.S. in Bioethics Program, School of Professional Studies; Professor of Psychiatry (in Sociomedical Sciences), Columbia University Medical Center

Robert Klitzman, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Joseph Mailman School of Public Health, and the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Bioethics program at Columbia University. He co-founded and for five years co-directed the Columbia University Center for Bioethics, and directed the Ethics and Policy Core of the HIV Center for 10 years.

He has published over 120 scientific journal articles, eight books, and numerous chapters on critical issues in bioethics including genetics, neuroethics, HIV prevention, research ethics, and doctor-patient relationships.

Klitzman has received numerous awards for his work, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a member of the Empire State Stem Cell Commission and served on the U.S. Department of Defense’s Research Ethics Advisory Panel. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a regular contributor to the New York Times and CNN.


  • Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.D., Yale University
  • A.B., Princeton University


  • The Ethics Police?: The Struggle to Make Human Research Safe (Oxford University Press, 1st ed., 2015)
  • Am I My Genes? Confronting Fate and Other Genetic Journeys (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • A Year-Long Night: Tales of a Medical Internship (iUniverse, 2010)
  • In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist (Simon and Schuster, 2010)
  • When Doctors Become Patients (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS (Johns Hopkins University Press, revised ed., 2005), with Ronald Bayer, Ph.D.
  • The Trembling Mountain: A Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals and Mad Cow Disease (Da Cappo Press, 1st ed., 1998)
  • Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women With HIV (Ivan R. Dee, 1997)