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Hosseini Elected to APPE Board

Mohammad Hosseini, PhD, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Health and Biomedical Informatics, was recently elected to the board of directors of the Association for Professional and Practical Ethics (APPE). Hosseini is a research ethics and integrity expert, who collaborates closely with the Galter Health Science Library, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine on topics related to technology ethics, including artificial intelligence. His term begins July 1. APPE recently conducted a Q&A with Hosseini, which is presented below.

You are a newly elected board member. Congratulations! What does it mean to you to be elected by your peers to serve in this role?

Thanks, it honestly means so much to me, and I feel wonderful about it. I feel privileged to have been nominated and elected, both indicate lots of trust and recognition from my favorite professional community. I also feel a great deal of responsibility to advocate for APPE and professional ethical expertise in my other networks, as well as supporting the APPE board.


Caring about ethics and integrity while being kind and supportive of each other is APPE’s northern star, and its members are what I like the most about APPE.”

Mohammad Hosseini, PhD, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Health and Biomedical Informatics

What kind of impact do you hope to make as a board member?

I’d like to characterize my desired impact through what I’m hoping to achieve and prioritize. I thought about this when I was writing my candidacy statement. I really meant it and would like to repeat it here: “supporting the board in organizing APPE events and promotion of critical thinking skills among students through Ethics Bowl and similar initiatives, engaging effectively with diverse cohorts within APPE and advocating for a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable network for more ethics enthusiasts.”

You've been a leader in the APPE RISE community. For those who aren't members, can you explain what APPE RISE is, and what role being part of that community has played in your career?

Officially, APPE RISE is the specialized group that focuses on promoting education and research on research ethics, research integrity and responsible conduct of research. The community holds a preconference event before the annual meeting, providing an opportunity for members to present their ongoing work or debate important topics. But my more personal answer includes anecdotes and examples. I certainly would have not been here without the support of APPE members and I’m grateful to many of them who have been so welcoming to me even before I came to the US. I remember when members of APPE RISE attended the National Dialogue on Research Integrity event in November 2023 in DC, Tristan McIntosh asked what I like about this community and how does APPE RISE compare with other professional communities I have been a member. My response was that APPE RISE is a tight-knit family of professionals who are extremely supportive of each other and deeply care about the common goal of developing and promoting research ethics and integrity. Its members are humble, knowledgeable, generous, and extremely supportive. For example, Sam Bruton, my first American co-author, was mentoring me when I was still an MA student in Applied Ethics in the Netherlands in 2016; Dena Plemmons kindly edited and patiently proofread one of my early manuscripts on international co-authorships and later invited me to co-author a book with her; David Resnik read my PhD thesis and provided feedback in 2021, and has mentored me on several papers and projects; Michael Loui mentored me to obtain my teaching certificate here in the US; Lisa Rasmussen invited me and has been mentoring me to support Accountability in Research as an associate editor; Kelly Laas invited me to co-teach an RCR class with her in Illinois Tech and encouraged me to judge regional Ethics Bowl competitions; Greg Kelly has trusted me to moderate the annual RCR trainings for NIAID; and Stephanie Bird patiently described the history of research ethics in the US when we were co-authoring a book with Dena in 2023. The list is long and I’m only mentioning a few here, but these are all extremely busy people who trusted me, mentored me, and made a positive contribution to my career, and I’m sure they are as supportive to others who are interested in ethics of research. Briefly put, caring about ethics and integrity while being kind and supportive of each other is APPE’s northern star, and its members are what I like the most about APPE.

You've spent a lot of time outside the U.S. How do you think APPE can grow its global membership? What services could we provide?

To my understanding, APPE leadership has been working on this goal, and made valuable strides with the help of Jun Fudano and Elisabeth Hildt, two current Board members. I think strengthening APPE’s brand and presence abroad will certainly help. What APPE offers does not necessarily need to be different in different countries, but I think we could make some minor tweaks to contextualize it. While professional ethics is an internationally recognized topic, the debate in various countries has different focus areas depending on what matters in that part of the world and what is considered urgent. We can capitalize on these differences and promote APPE as a global institution that can engage with various ethical issues in a meaningful way. I would like to brainstorm with the board and share more specific ideas to support APPE in growing its international membership.

What is something you're planning over the summer, personally or professionally, that you're excited about?

Between June 15-21, I’ll be in San Diego to join University of Virginia’s Biomedical Data Science Innovation Lab retreat. This retreat is specifically focused on generative AI and aims to promote thinking outside of the box to develop new biomedical and data science solutions with generative AI. I’m excited to join this retreat to promote ethical, human-centered, and responsible approaches to development and deployment of generative AI, ensuring that core human values and democratic institutions are not undermined. After the retreat I’ll go camping in Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park (WA).

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