About Us - Edinboro University

          About Us

          James F. Drane, PhD

          JimDraneJames F. Drane Bioethics Institute Founder and Director, 1969-2018

          Dr. James F. Drane took a circuitous route to Edinboro University. It was a path that shaped him, both personally and professionally, and led to the establishment of one of the only centers for bioethics research in a state university in this country.

          The oldest of ten children in a poor family in Chester, Pennsylvania, Drane felt a calling to the priesthood. He received his religious education at St. John’s Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas and a Theology degree from the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a Catholic priest. He advanced his education at Middlebury College, where he received a degree in Romance Languages before earning his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Madrid.

          He studied under the world-renowned doctor of psychiatry, Karl Menninger, in Topeka Kansas, spent years in research at Yale University, and made a trip around the world, researching public policies in different cultures on ethical issues in medicine.

          When he arrived at Edinboro University in 1969, he collaborated with the then University President, to establish the Bioethics Institute. Although no longer a cleric, Drane has never lost his passion for continuing his ministry in the area of bioethics. He traveled to Central and South America on behalf of the World Health Organization to monitor research being done on human subjects.

          In 2002, he was named one of the founders of the discipline of Bioethics at The International Bioethics Conference in Brasilia, Brazil. Dr. Drane has authored 20 books on bioethics and the conflicts and issues that can arise when medicine collides with ethical issues. This most famous text, More Humane Medicine: A Liberal Catholic Bioethics, received the Outstanding Book of the Year Award in 2004, from Independent Publishers. It was named “Best Health Book.”

          Drane remains on campus as the Russell B. Roth Professor of Bioethics, at the James F. Drane Bioethics Institute.


          Kiarash Aramesh, MD, PhD

          kiaJames F. Drane Bioethics Institute Director and Fellowship Director, 2018-Present

          As a young medical doctor in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Aramesh specialized in community medicine. But he soon found himself immersed in issues that extended beyond physical health and wellness. He became increasingly aware of the ethical issues surrounding clinical medicine and biomedical sciences.

          In 2005, he started working as a faculty of Medical Ethics at his medical school alma mater, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. During the next eight years, he conducted and taught several courses and more than 40 workshops on Research Ethics and Essentials of Medical Ethics for faculty members of medical universities in Tehran and other cities of Iran.

          He has served as a member of various committees, including the Specialized Research Ethics Committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and the National Committee of Ethics in Science and Technology and Bioethics at the National Commission of UNESCO in Iran. He also played a prominent role in the development of various institutions and activities related to biomedical ethics in Iran, including curriculum development for the first PhD programs in medical ethics and the first national guidelines for ethics in biomedical research.

          Dr. Aramesh has published several books and articles on various aspects of biomedical ethics in English and Persian, and delivered numerous presentations as invited lecturer in different international conferences. He served as visiting scholar at the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York in 2012, and at the National Institutes of Health in 2013-2014.

          In 2017, Dr. Aramesh was awarded a PhD in Healthcare Ethics from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In September 2018, he accepted the position of director of the James F. Drane Bioethics Institute at Edinboro University, where he coordinates activities, teaches courses in Bioethics, and pursues his own scholarly research on topics such as global bioethics, global governance for health, clinical research ethics, and the science-pseudoscience debate and its ethical implications in biomedical research and practice.

          His goal is to preserve the legacy created by Dr. James Drane and to create a more dynamic, global presence for the Bioethics Institute.