Prior to coming to NYU, Dr. Caplan was the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he created the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics. He has also taught at the University of Minnesota, where he founded the Center for Biomedical Ethics; the University of Pittsburgh; and Columbia University. He received his PhD from Columbia University.
Dr. Caplan is the author or editor of 35 books and more than 800 papers in peer reviewed journals. His most recent books are Vaccination Ethics and Policy (MIT Press, 2017, with Jason Schwartz) and Getting to Good: Research Integrity in Biomedicine (Springer, 2018, with Barbara Redman).
He has served on a number of national and international committees including as chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group; chair of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning; and chair of the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability. He has also served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses; the Special Advisory Committee to the International Olympic Committee on Genetics and Gene Therapy; the Special Advisory Panel to the National Institutes of Mental Health on Human Experimentation on Vulnerable Subjects; the Wellcome Trust Advisory Panel on Research in Humanitarian Crises; and as the co-director of the Joint Council of Europe/United Nations Study on Trafficking in Organs and Body Parts.
Dr. Caplan has served since 2015 as a chair of the Compassionate Use Advisory Committees (CompAC), independent groups of internationally recognized medical experts, bioethicists, and patient representatives that advise Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals on requests for compassionate use of its investigational medicines.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he is co-directing an advisory group on sports and recreation for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, created a working group on coronavirus vaccine challenge studies, developed an ethical framework for distributing drugs and vaccines for J&J, and helped develop rationing policies for NYU Langone Health and many other health systems. He is a member of the WHO advisory committee on COVID-19, ethics, and experimental drugs/vaccines, and he helped set policy for WIRB/WCG for research studies. He was an adviser to Moderna, Inc., and he serves on the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group.