Three Penn faculty named Hastings Center Fellows

Holly Fernandez Lynch, Quayshawn Spencer, and Connie Ulrich.
Holly Fernandez Lynch of the Perelman School of Medicine, Quayshawn Spencer of the School of Arts & Sciences, and Connie Ulrich of the School of Nursing.

Three faculty from the University of Pennsylvania, Holly Fernandez Lynch of the Perelman School of Medicine, Quayshawn Spencer of the School of Arts & Sciences, and Connie Ulrich of the School of Nursing have been named Hastings Center Fellows for deepening public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology.

Fernandez Lynch, Spencer, and Ulrich are three of 24 new Hastings Center Fellows joining an elected group of more than 200 that produce publications on ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology to inform policy, practice, and public understanding of bioethics. They are chosen for insight and experience in managing the ethical questions and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world.

Holly Fernandez Lynch is the John Russell Dickson, M.D., Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine with a secondary appointment as an assistant professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Fernandez Lynch’s scholarship focuses on clinical research ethics and regulation, access to investigational medicines outside clinical trials, Food and Drug Administration policy, and the ethics of gatekeeping in health care. She is the founder and co-chair of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight, a group working to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of institutional review boards. She served as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections from 2014 to 2019. She currently serves on the boards of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research and the American Society for Law, Medicine, and Ethics.

Quayshawn Spencer is the Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of Philosophy in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. He specializes in metaphysical issues in the philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of race. He has written about the nature of a biologically real object, the nature of a scientifically real object, the nature and reality of race in U.S. race talk, and whether there exists any biological racial classification that is useful in medical research. His most recent book is “What Is Race? Four Philosophical Views” (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Connie Ulrich is the Lillian S. Brunner Endowed Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing and a professor of medical ethics and health policy and nursing in Penn Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences. She is also associate director at the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research focuses on advancing empirical bioethics in clinical practice and research. Ulrich’s current work includes a project that aims to better understand the role and responsibilities of clinical ethicists during COVID-19 and the ethical challenges in supporting clinicians, patients, and families and a book on “Nurses and COVID-19: Ethical Considerations in Pandemic Care.” She is also the principal investigator of a bioethics educational grant that aims to develop and train nurse and physician bioethicists in Tanzania.

The Hastings Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization created from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, law, political science, and education. The Hastings Center was critical to establishing the field of bioethics in 1969 and has been evolving ever since. Founded by philosopher Daniel Callahan and psychoanalyst Willard Gaylin, The Hastings Center is the oldest independent, nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research institute of its kind in the world.