Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBioethics

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Associate Director

Professor Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBe is an Associate Director at the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School. At U-M she is also the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee, the ethicist on the Michigan Medicine Human Data and Biospecimen Release Committee, and a clinical ethicist.

A lawyer and bioethicist by training, Professor Spector’s research focuses on the ethics and regulation of secondary research use of health data and human biospecimens. Her work has been funded as PI or Co-I by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the Greenwall Foundation, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. She currently holds an NIH Career Development Award studying the genetic data-sharing market with a focus on agreements between private industry and academic medical centers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Spector has focused on ethical clinical trial design and recruitment, systemic biases in therapeutic access, and the equitable distribution of scarce resources. Her recent pieces have appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature Medicine, and USA Today, among others.

Professor Spector served as a Research Analyst and then Associate Director for President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (2010-2015). During that time she was a staff lead author on reports spanning the unethical STD experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s, emerging genetic and data technologies, and clinical trial design during the 2013 Ebola outbreak. She is also on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities.

Professor Spector received her J.D. and M.Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and School of Medicine respectively after graduating from Middlebury College. She completed a research fellowship in bioethics at Michigan Medicine and is a former practicing drug and device attorney.