Global Health Center

Ruth Macklin, M.D.

Contact Info

Dr. Ruth Macklin
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461




Ruth MacklinProfessor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health
Dr. Shoshanah Trachtenberg Frackman Faculty Scholar in Biomedical Ethics

Dr. Macklin first began working in Global Health in 1988, when she was invited to become a member of the Scientific and Ethical Review Group (now under a new name), located in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization (WHO). She continues as a member of that committee and also serves on the HIV Vaccine Advisory Committee, located within the Initiative for Vaccine Research (IVR) at WHO. She is a past member of the Ethical Review Committee responsible for reviewing all WHO research projects. Dr. Macklin is a frequent participant in WHO and UNAIDS consultations and workshops sponsored by the programs with which she is affiliated, which have been held in recent years in Uganda, Malawi, Botswana, Senegal, and South Africa. She is a past President and Board Member of the International Association of Bioethics and was re-elected to the Board in 2009.

Dr. Macklin has close ties with colleagues in India and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME), in which she has several published articles. She was an invited speaker in 2007 at the Second National Bioethics Conference of the IJME held in Bangalore, and regularly consults with colleagues on topics of research ethics in India. She is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and the Editorial Board of Developing World Bioethics.

She chaired the Ethical Review Committee at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva from 1996-2000, and also at UNAIDS was a member of the Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights from 2003-2008. She served as Vice President and Member of Executive Committee, Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) from 1999-2007.

Several of Dr. Macklin’s published articles and two of her books focus on global health topics. The latter are: Standards in Medical Research in Developing Countries. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004; and Against Relativism: Cultural Diversity and the Search for Ethical Universals in Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Her latest book is a collection of her previously published articles on topics in global health entitled Ethics in Global Health: Research, Policy, and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2012).



Dr. Macklin is Co-director of an NIH Fogarty International Center Training Program in Research Ethics entitled "A Training Program in Research Ethics in the Americas." The program takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is conducted entirely in Spanish. The program began in 2000, with four post-doctoral trainees each year spending several months in residence and then returning to their respective countries to implement a practical project. Since renewal of the program in 2006, a distance learning course was added, open to other scholars and professionals throughout Latin America. Following the latest renewal in 2010, Dr. Macklin is working with her Buenos Aires co-director to establish a Master’s degree in bioethics as part of the Fogarty program. In the years since the program began, trainees have included physicians, biomedical scientists, lawyers, social scientists, and philosophers. In the early years, the majority of the trainees came from Argentina, but more recently Peru, Brazil, and Mexico have been in the lead, with others hailing from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador. The program features an annual seminar co-directed by Dr. Macklin and Dr. Florencia Luna, the Argentine Co-director, mentored projects for each year’s trainees, and a required distance-learning course open to others in addition to each year’s trainees. Several past trainees have begun new careers in bioethics, have organized conferences in their countries, developed new courses in their institutions, and published articles on aspects of research ethics. A few of the best past trainees are invited to serve as guest faculty at the annual seminar and as presenters or tutors in the on-line course.

Dr. Macklin serves as an external advisor to another Fogarty International Center training program for Central and Eastern European countries, based in Vilnius, Lithuania. She is a visiting faculty member at the seminars conducted by this training program.

Einstein-sponsored projects Although Dr. Macklin does not have an ongoing project in Global Health in which students can participate, she is prepared to serve as a mentor for students interested in doing their required research project in the area of Global Health or developing a fourth year elective project.

Countries: Argentina, India

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