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James J Giordano


GUMC Adjunct -- Professor


Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
General profile



Dr. James Giordano is Scholar-in-Residence and Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program in the Center for Clinical Bioethics, Professor of Integrative Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry, and on the faculty of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA. He is Clark Fellow of Neurosciences and Ethics at the Human Science Center of Ludwig Maximilains Universität, Munich, Germany, where he previously was JW Fulbright Foundation Visiting Professor. Dr. Giordano is 2012-2013 William H. and Ruth Crane Schaefer Distinguished Visiting Professor of Neuroethics at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, and is a Senior Fellow of the Board of Regents of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, DC-area think tank focusing upon ethico-legal and social issues generated by scientific and technological research and applications.

His ongoing research focuses upon the use of advanced neurotechnologies to explore the neuroscience of pain and neuropsychiatric spectrum disorders, neuropathology of neuropsychiatric disorders, neuroscience and ethics of decision-making and crisis management, and the neurophilosophical and neuroethical issues arising from the use of neuroscience and neurotechnology in research, medicine, public life, and national security and defense (see:

The author of over 175 peer-reviewed papers, and 6 books in neuroscience and neuroethics, Prof. Giordano is Editor-in-Chief of the journals Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, and Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics and Policy; Associate Editor for the journal Neuroethics, Executive Editor-in-Chief of the book series Advances in Neurotechnology: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (published by CRC Press), and Associate Editor for the book series Augmenting Human Performance (published by Springer Verlag) . His recent books include: Neurotechnology: Premises, Potential and Problems (CRC Press); Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives in Neuroethics (with Bert Gordijn; Cambridge University Press), Maldynia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Illness of Chronic Pain (Taylor-Francis), Pain: Mind, Meaning and Medicine (PPM Press), and Pain Medicine: Philosophy, Ethics and Policy (with Mark Boswell; Linton Atlantic Books).

In recognition of his ongoing work, he has been awarded the 2012 Klaus Reichert Prize in Medicine and Philosophy (with colleague and longtime collaborator, Prof. Dr. Roland Benedikter of Stanford University, USA), has been named Sigma Xi 2013-2014 National Distinguished Lecturer; 2012-2013 IEEE National Distinguished Lecturer, was elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2008, and was named a Presidential Point of Light for his contribution to science and society by (former) President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

He and his wife, Sherry, an editor, artist and naturalist, divide their time between Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, USA, and the Bavarian town of Bad Tölz, just south of Munich, Germany.


  • Grad. Certificate (2006) Loyola University, Bioethics and Health Policy
  • Post-doc (1986-1988) Johns Hopkins University, Neurotoxicology/Neuropathology
  • Ph.D. (1986) City University of NY, Biopsychology
  • M.S. (1986) City University of NY, Biopsychology/Neuropharmacology
  • M.Phil. (1985) City University of NY, Philosophy of Psychology
  • M.A. (1982) Norwich University, Physiological Psychology
  • B.Sci. (1981) St. Peter's College, Physiological Psychology


  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Italian (speak, write)