AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 2010, Volume 12, Number 11: 905-907.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: Gray Matters: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century

Theme Issue Editor

Joshua Tompkins is a second-year medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. A veteran journalist, he has covered science and health for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He plans to specialize in psychiatry while continuing his work in journalism.


James F. Bartscher, MD, is a neurointensivist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. His research interests include the ethics of physician decision making in end-of-life care, prediction models for extubation success in neurological patients, optimization of continuous multimodal ICU monitoring, and exploration of new brain-computer interfaces in the diagnosis and treatment of severe neurological disease. Dr. Bartscher received his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and completed neurology and neurocritical care training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

James L. Bernat, MD, is a professor of neurology and medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and director of the program in clinical ethics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire. He is the author of Ethical Issues in Neurology, 3rd ed. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008).

Benjamin Bumann is a third-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, where he directs the Law and Brain Student Group. He is also a research fellow at Baylor College of Medicine’s Initiative on Neuroscience and the Law. He received his BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Donna T. Chen, MD, MPH, is a core faculty member of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities and an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. Her professional interests include clinical, research, and organizational ethics; professionalism; and ethics education.

Jay Desai, MD, is a resident in child neurology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. His research has focused on various aspects of childhood epilepsy.

Glen R. Finney, MD, a behavioral neurology specialist, is co-director of the Memory and Cognitive Disorders Program and the behavioral neurology fellowship at the Department of Neurology of the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Finney is also active in medical education, serving as residency program director and neurology clerkship director at his institution. His research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of dementias, the neurologic correlates of creativity, and brain-behavior relationships.

Dan Larriviere, MD, JD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville. His research interests include neuroethics, medicolegal issues, and health policy.

Carla A. Mazefsky, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and research assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mazefsky’s work focuses on clarifying potential contributors to the complexity of emotional functioning in older children and adolescents with high-functioning autism, including individual behavioral and cognitive characteristics, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, family history factors, and underlying brain differences.

Nancy J. Minshew, MD, is the director of the NIH Autism Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh, director of Pitt’s Autism Speaks autism treatment network site, and a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Minshew’s research on the cognitive, neurological, and genetic bases of autism has led to the conceptualization of autism as a disorder of information processing and brain connectivity. Dr. Minshew received her medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine and was trained as a behavioral child neurologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Margaret Moon, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a core faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is the Freeman Family Scholar in Clinical Ethics.

Peter B. Reiner, MD, is a professor at the National Core for Neuroethics, a member of the Department of Psychiatry at the Kinsmen Laboratory for Neurological Research, and a member of the Brain Research Centre, all at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Previously, Dr. Reiner served as president and CEO of Active Pass Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company that he founded to tackle the scourge of Alzheimer disease. Upon returning to academic life in 2004, Dr. Reiner refocused his work in the area of neuroethics, specializing in the commercialization of neuroscience with a particular interest in cognitive enhancement.

Panayiotis N. Varelas, MD, PhD, is the director of the neurointensive care units at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He is also an associate professor of clinical neurology at Wayne State University in Detroit. Previously, he was the director of the neurosciences intensive care unit at the Medical College of Wisconsin.