Dr. Aasim Padela

Dr. Aasim Padela is the Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine, Associate Professor of Medicine, Sections of Emergency Medicine and General Internal Medicine  and Faculty at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. He is an emergency medicine physician, health services researcher, and bioethicist whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of community health, religious tradition, and bioethics.

His empirical research assesses how religion-related factors impact health behaviors and outcomes among American Muslims, and influences the practice of American Muslim physicians.  As a fellow at the non-partisan think-tank the​ Institute for Social Policy & Understanding and in conjunction with several Muslim community organizations, these data are mobilized towards culturally-tailored healthcare interventions and policy recommendations.

Dr. Padela’s bioethics scholarship explores the ways in which the Islamic tradition and its authorities assess modern biomedicine and biotechnology. A key focus of this research involves exploring how scientific data and ways of knowing can work in concert with traditional Islamic moral reasoning and theology to develop a comprehensive, holistic, and theologically-rooted Islamic bioethics. Towards this end he collaborates with traditional Islamic jurisconsults and Islamic bioethics researchers around the world and co-directed a landmark multidisciplinary conference entitled Where Religion, Bioethics, and Policy Meet: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Islamic Bioethics and End-of-Life Care.

Dr. Padela completed undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic & Literature at the University of Rochester, earned a medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, and obtained emergency medicine training at the University of Rochester. From 2008-2011, Dr. Padela was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan, where he led a program of community-based participatory research studying American Muslim health behaviors  and healthcare challenges. In 2010, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies at Oxford University working on projects related to Islamic moral and theological ethical frameworks. And from 2013 to 2014 he is a Templeton Foundation Faculty Scholar conducting a national survey of Muslim physicians’ bioethical attitudes and experiences with religious discrimination.

Dr. Padela’s scholarship has been featured in multiple media outlets including CNN, the New York Times, the USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, The National, and others.

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