Paul Root Wolpe

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also holds appointments in the Department of Medical Ethics and the Department of Sociology. He is a Senior Fellow of Penn's Center for Bioethics, is the Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Ethics at the School of Medicine, and is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. He is also a member of Penn's cancer Center and Center for AIDS Research.
Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first Chief of Bioethics for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The office is responsible for safeguarding the protections of research subjects and astronauts both within NASA and among our international space partners.

Dr. Wolpe did his undergraduate work in the sociology and psychology of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from Yale University under an NIMH grant in Mental Health Services Research and Evaluation. After graduate school in 1986, Wolpe began teaching at Penn, and has taught there in one capacity or another since then. From 1988-1992, his full-time position was as the Coordinator of Research on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College.

Dr. Wolpe is the author of numerous articles and book chapters in sociology, medicine, and bioethics, and has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias on bioethical issues. His research examines the role of ideology and culture in medical thought, encompassing such diverse fields as genetics and reproduction; neuroethics and the integration of biotechnology into the human body; mental health and illness; human subjects research; religion and its role in bioethical debate, and death and dying. Dr. Wolpe is the author of the textbook Sexuality and Gender in Society and the end-of-life guide In the Winter of Life.

Dr. Wolpe sits on the national boards of organizations such as the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's National Medical Committee, and the National Embryo Donation Advisory Board of RESOLVE, as well as others. He sits on a number of journal editorial boards, and is the Special Features Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics. He serves as a bioethics advisor to private industry, and to governmental agencies such as the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Children and Youth Division. The winner of a number of teaching and writing awards, Dr. Wolpe has been chosen by The Teaching Company as a "Superstar Teacher of America" and his courses are nationally distributed on audio and videotape. Wolpe is a regular columnist on biotechnology for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and appears frequently in the broadcast media, including MSNBC, CBS and ABC Evening News, Dateline, and The Jim Lehrer Show, and has recently been cited in news sources such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News and World Report. For a more extensive bio >>

Paul joined the CCLE's Board of Advisors in 2004.