New director sees bright future for bioethics program

Category:  News
Thursday, January 24th, 2019 at 11:20 AM

The recently appointed director of the Dr. James F. Drane Bioethics Institute, Dr. Kiarash Aramesh, plans on continuing the legacy of Edinboro’s bioethics program, as well as expanding its influence on a new scale.

“I believe that the James F. Drane Bioethics Institute has [all the] potential needed to expect a shining future,” said Aramesh. “By a ‘shining future’ I mean becoming a world-class institute for education, research, scholarship, and advocacy in the field of bioethics.”

Drane served his namesake institute as director from 1969 to 2017 before retiring. The institutes’s focus is on bioethics on the local and global levels, combining the fields of biomedical sciences and ethics. This focus makes it one of the few institutions of its kind. 

Likewise, Aramesh has a notable legacy of his own, which he paved on the way to working for EUP.

After earning his master’s degree at Tehran University of Medical Sciences,  Aramesh began his career of teaching and serving in several specialized committees, eventually coming to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh for his doctorate.  

“I have always been interested in both science and humanities. That’s why I pursued my education in medicine and received a professional degree in medicine, a specialty in community medicine, and a Ph.D. in healthcare ethics.”

Bioethics, in particular, had intrigued Aramesh, which he describes as a “merging point” of his many interests.

“It entails philosophical work on the issues raised by the advancements of the science and technologies.”

In September of 2018, Aramesh was selected to serve as director of the Drane Institute to which he describes as an “honor of working in a bioethics institute with such great potentials and promises.”

“[T]he opportunity of teaching the next generation of professionals and scholars” describes his pique in interest for coming to work at Edinboro. 

Regarding new plans for the Drane Institute this coming year, he stated that “many exciting programs are going on in the institute,” including a new lecture series featuring guest bioethicists and a fellowship program drawing applicants from across the world.

The goal of these latest developments are to “attract brilliant and talented bioethicists, hopefully including the students and alumni of EUP, to the institute.”

In addition to serving as director, Aramesh teaches his course “Introduction to Bioethics,” of which he described enjoying the “discussions and debates that make this course very inspiring and dynamic.”

When asked for what essential skills one must have when entering the field, Aramesh stated that critical thinking is crucial to observing “everything with an open and fresh eye and thinking out of the boxes of biases, prejudices, personal interests, dogmas, long-held beliefs and established norms and conventions.”

Collin Alekson |

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