Michael Selgelid


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Public Health Ethics, Research Ethics, Biotechnology


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Michael Selgelid is Professor of Bioethics in the Monash Bioethics Centre and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at Monash University, where he also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the  School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine.  He previously served as Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre from 2012 to 2019.

He is a member  of the Scientific Committee of the Brocher Foundation in Geneva/Switzerland and a member of  the General Ethical Issues Sub-committee of the Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee (in Melbourne).

Michael was previously  a member of  the Board of Directors of the International Association of Bioethics, the Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Ethics Advisory Group of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. He was  Chair of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics from 2016 to 2018.

Michael’s research primarily focuses on public health ethics (especially regarding infectious disease) and ethical issues associated with biotechnology.

He co-authored Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences (Springer 2008) and Human Challenge Studies in Endemic Settings:  Ethical and Regulatory Issues  (Springer, forthcoming 2020); and he co-edited On The Dual Uses of Science and Ethics:  Principles, Practices, and Prospects (ANE E Press 2013), Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Ashgate 2012), Emergency Ethics (Ashgate 2012), Infectious Disease Ethics (Springer 2011), Health Rights (Ashgate 2010), Ethics and Infectious Disease (Blackwell, 2006), and Ethics and Drug Resistance:  Collective Responsibility for Global Public Health (Springer, forthcoming 2020).

Michael edits a book series in Public Health Ethics Analysis for Springer and is Co-Editor of Monash Bioethics Review.

Among numerous other engagements with WHO Michael served as an Advisor to the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding Ebola (2014-2015, West Africa); and he was a Member of the IHR Emergency Committee on Zika Virus and Observed Increase in Neurological Disorders and Neonatal Malformations and the IHR Emergency Committee for Ebola virus Disease (2018, Democratic Republic of Congo).

In 2015 Michael was commissioned by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to produce a White Paper on ethical issues associated with gain-of-function research.

Michael earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University; and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Philip Kitcher.

Research interests

My research primarily focuses on Applied Ethics, Bioethics, and Public Health Ethics.  Special areas of interest include:
Infectious Disease Genetics and Biotechnology Research Ethics Reproductive Ethics Biosecurity and Bioterrorism  Synthetic Biology Health Care in Developing Countries Health Surveillance Ethics Philosophy of Security Translational Bioethics Practical and Philosophical Bioethics

Research area keywords

  • Bioethics
  • Health Ethics
  • Ethical Decision-making
  • Ebola
  • Zika
  • Preventative Intervention
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Vaccination
  • Epidemic
  • Ethics Governance
  • Biosecurity
  • Virus
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Global Health


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