• Steven Joffe

Steven Joffe, MD, MPH

  • Vice Chair of Medical Ethics; Emanuel and Robert Hart Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy; Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Email: joffes@upenn.edu


Steven Joffe is a pediatric oncologist and bioethicist who is currently the Emanuel and Robert Hart Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.  He is also the Director of the Penn Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics.

Dr. Joffe's research addresses the many ethical challenges that arise in the conduct of clinical and translational investigation.  He has led NIH and foundation grants to study the roles and responsibilities of principal investigators in multicenter randomized trials, accountability in the clinical research enterprise, children’s capacity to engage in research decisions, return of individual genetic results to participants in epidemiologic cohort studies, and the integration of whole-exome sequencing technologies into the clinical care of cancer patients. He has coauthored over 100 articles addressing these topics.  He currently chairs the Children’s Oncology Group Bioethics Committee, and serves as a member of the FDA’s Pediatrics Ethics Subcommittee.

Dr. Joffe attended Harvard College, received his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco, and received his public health degree from UC Berkeley.  He trained in pediatrics at UCSF and undertook fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Selected Publications

Ramoni RB, McGuire AL, Robinson JO, Morley DS, Plon SE, Joffe S:

Experiences and attitudes of genome investigators regarding return of individual genetic test results. Genet Med 2013. Epub May 4, 2013.

Joffe S:

Revolution or reform in human subjects research oversight.  J Law Med Ethics 2012;40(4):922-9.

Truog RD, Kesselheim AS, Joffe S:

Paying patients for their tissue: the legacy of Henrietta Lacks. Science 2012;337:37-8.

Miller FG, Joffe S:

Balancing access and evaluation in the approval of new cancer drugs.  JAMA 2011;305:2345-6.

Miller FG, Joffe S:

Equipoise and the dilemma of randomized clinical trials.  New Engl J Med 2011;364:476-80.

Rose SL, Krzyzanowska MK, Joffe S:

Relationships between authorship contributions and authors' industry financial ties among oncology clinical trials. J Clin Oncol 2010;28:1316-21. PMCID: PMC3040064

Joffe S, Miller FG:

Bench to bedside: mapping the moral terrain of clinical research. Hastings Cent Rep 2008;32(2):30-42

Joffe S, Fernandez CV, Pentz RD, Ungar DR, Mathew NA, Turner CW, Alessandri AJ, Woodman CL, Singer DA, Kodish E:

Involving children in decision-making about research participation. J Pediatr. 2006;149(6):862-8.

Peppercorn JM, Weeks JC, Cook EF, Joffe S:

Comparison of outcomes in cancer patients treated within and outside clinical trials: conceptual framework and structured review. Lancet. 2004;363(9405):263-70

Joffe S, Cook EF, Cleary PD, Clark JW, Weeks JC:

Quality of informed consent in cancer clinical trials: a cross-sectional survey. Lancet. 2001;358(9295):1772-7.