Ethics and Genomics Program

The Ethics and Genomics Program focuses on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic technologies and the ways in which they impact various stakeholders such as patients, family members, health professionals, policy makers and society at large.


Kim Strong, PhD

Kimberly Strong, PhD

Faculty Investigator and Program Director for Ethics and Genomics
Tom May, PhD

Thomas May, PhD

Senior Scientist

Email: [email protected]

Thomas May, PhD, researches issues at the intersection of medicine, public health and moral/social/political philosophy, with a special interest in issues related to autonomy and healthcare. He has focused on issues of how autonomy relates to self-identity and well-being; the role of autonomy in deciding how rights to genomic information, as well as rights to genomic ignorance, should be framed; and the assessment of risk within the context of other-regarding implications that emerge from genomic information. May’s approach is to carefully parse the relevant considerations, outcomes and justifications salient to healthcare decision-making and through this to balance potential benefits and risks in a way that is appropriately contextualized to the patient, condition and provider circumstances that frame decision-making. In addition to publishing two books and many articles on autonomy in leading philosophy journals, he has published on related topics in Nature, Science, Pediatrics, Vaccine, American Journal of Public Health and Milbank Quarterly . May has served as an advisor to the Florida Department of Health; the National Vaccine Program Office; and the Biomedical Ethics sections of the American Public Health Association, which has has twice chaired; the American Philosophical Association, as a member of its Committee on Philosophy and Medicine; and the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences.

May earned his PhD in philosophy from Bowling Green State University in 1994 followed by fellowships at the University of Minnesota Center for Biomedical Ethics and in the department of bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He was the director of the Clinical Ethics Center at Memorial Medical Center/Southern Illinois University School of Medicine from 1997 until 2001 and joined the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in Milwaukee in 2000 where he was director of graduate studies in bioethics, held the Ursula Von der Ruhr endowed chair in bioethics and served on an advisory board overseeing identification of appropriate candidates for a cooperative MCW-Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin pilot program for whole genome sequencing of children suffering from health conditions of unknown cause.