Osagie K. Obasogie JD, PhD

Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics
Joint Medical Program
Division of Community Health Sciences
Education: 
  • BA - Yale University
  • JD - Columbia Law School
  • PhD - University of California, Berkeley
Biography: 

Osagie K. Obasogie is the Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics in the Joint Medical Program and School of Public Health. He began his career at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law as an Associate and then full Professor of Law, teaching courses on Constitutional Law, race, and law and the health sciences. He joined Berkeley in 2016.

Obasogie chairs the Diversity and Health Disparities Cluster at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. His research and writing is on bioethics, with a focus on the social, ethical, and legal implications of new reproductive and genetic technologies. Obasogie’s research also looks at the past and present roles of science in both constructing racial meanings and explaining racial disparities. He has a particular interest in developing legal mechanisms that can create the conditions for eliminating health disparities. 

An additional thread of Obasogie’s research uses novel theoretical and empirical interventions to explore the hidden ways in which racial thinking is central to law, medicine, and science. His first book, Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind (Stanford University Press) was awarded the Herbert Jacob Book Prize by the Law and Society Association. His second book, Beyond Bioethics: Toward a New Biopolitics (with Marcy Darnovsky), is under contact with the University of California Press. Obasogie's writings have appeared in scholarly journals such as the Law & Society Review, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and Stanford Technology Law Review as well as journalistic outlets such as the New York Times, Slate, and Scientific American.

Research Interests: 
  • Law
  • Bioethics
  • Reproductive and Genetic Technologies
  • Race
Selected Publications: 

Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind, Stanford University Press. (2014) - web page

Race in the Life Sciences: An Empirical Assessment, 1950 - 2000, 83 Fordham Law Review 3089 (2016) (with J. Harris-Wai, K. Darling, C. Keagy, and M. Levesque). PDF  

Moore is Less: Why the Development of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Might Lead Us to Rethink Differential Property Interests in Excised Human Cells (with Helen Theung), 16 Stanford Technology Law Review 51. (2012) PDF

The Return of Biological Race? Regulating Race and Genetics Through Administrative Agency Race Impact Assessments, 22 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 1 (2012) PDF

Prisoners as Human Subjects: A Closer Look at the Institute of Medicine’s Recommendations to Loosen Current Restrictions on Using Prisoners in Scientific Research, 6 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 41 (2010).

Profile Updated: August 18, 2016