He is a physician and Consulting Professor at the Neuroscience Institute. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford University, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with Robert Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris. His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology.
He is the author of numerous publications on science and ethics including the co-edited volume Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue (2002, Oxford University Press), and “Science, Religion and Human Spirit” in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion. He is also co-chair of two interdisciplinary faculty projects at Stanford University, “Becoming Human: The Evolutionary Origins of Spiritual, Religious, and Moral Awareness,” and “Brain, Mind and Emergence.”
In addition to teaching at Stanford, he has worked with NASA on projects in Astrobiology and is a member of the Chemical and Biological Warfare working group at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Since 2002 he has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is the author of Altered Nuclear Transfer, a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem cell research.