Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links

School of


Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Insoo Hyun

Insoo Hyun

Associate Professor of Bioethics and Philosophy
Director of Undergraduate Bioethics Program 216.368.8658 (o)

Insoo Hyun is Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics and Director of the CWRU Stem Cell Ethics Center.  He received his BA and MA in Philosophy at Stanford and his PhD in Philosophy at Brown University. 

In 2005, Dr. Hyun received a Fulbright Research Award by the U.S. Department of State to study the ethical, legal, and cultural dynamics of human research cloning in South Korea.  In 2006 he chaired the Subcommittee on Human Biological Materials Procurement for the International Embryonic Stem Cell Guidelines Task Force, a multinational, multidisciplinary working group for the ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research).  In 2007 he served as Co-Chairperson of the ISSCR Task Force on International Guidelines for the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells.  Dr. Hyun is the past-Chairperson of the ISSCR’s Ethics and Public Policy Committee.

Dr. Hyun’s articles have appeared in Science, Nature, Cell Stem Cell, Cell, The Hastings Center Report, and The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and many others. 

Select Publications

Insoo Hyun, “Bioethics and the Future of Stem Cell Research,” New York, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Insoo Hyun, “Therapeutic Hope, Spiritual Distress, and the Problem of Stem Cell Tourism,” Cell Stem Cell 12 (5):505-507, 2 May 2013.

Olle Lindvall and Insoo Hyun, “Medical Innovation Versus Stem Cell Tourism,” Science 324, 2009: 1664-1665.

Insoo Hyun, “Stem Cells From Skin Cells: The Ethical Questions,” Hastings Center Report 38, no. 1, 2008: 20-22.

Insoo Hyun, Konrad Hochedlinger, Rudolf Jaenisch, Shinya Yamanaka, “New Advances in iPS Cell Research Do Not Obviate the Need for Human Embryonic Stem Cells,” Cell Stem Cell 1, 2007: 367-368.

Insoo Hyun, “Fair Payment or Undue Inducement?” Nature 442, 2006: 629-630.

Select Presentations

Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University Sweden, "Justice and the Future Use of Human Biological Specimens." October 18, 2013

Harvard Law School, "Therapeutic Hope and Its Challenges for Rational Ethical Discourse," November 28, 2012.

Current Courses

Fall 2014 Course: BETH 271, Bioethics Dilemmas. We have the genetic technology to change nature and human nature, but should we?  We have the medical technology to extend almost any human life, but is this always good?  Should we clone humans?  Should we allow doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill?  This course invites students from all academic disciplines and fields to examine current and future issues in bioethics--e.g., theory and methods in bioethics; death and dying; organ transplantation; genetics; aging and dementia; fertility and reproduction; distributive justice in health care access. The course will include guest lecturers from nationally-known Bioethics faculty.

Spring 2015 Course: BETH 371, Advanced Bioethics. This course offers upper-level instruction on many key bioethical issues introduced in BETH/PHIL 271.  The class follows a discussion-intensive seminar format. Students begin with an in-depth analysis of ethical issues surrounding the conduct of clinical trials, both within the U.S. and through U.S.-sponsored research abroad.  Next students examine the philosophical and practical challenges involved in medical decision making for adults and pediatric patients.  This course concludes by addressing the broader ethical problem of what duties we owe to future generations in terms of our reproductive choices and the allocation of health-related public expenditures. Each of these general topic areas - clinical trials, medical decision making, and future generations - is of crucial importance for all students whether one plans to enter a career in biomedical research, the healthcare professions, or some other career path.  Everyone is a potential patient or the family member of a potential patient.  The topics covered in Advanced Bioethics will help prepare students to become responsible participants in an increasingly complex biomedical world.