Michele A. Carter, Ph.D.

Professor, Institute for the Medical Humanities
Frances C. and Courtney M. Townsend, Sr., M.D. Professor in Medical Ethics (Inaugural Recipient)
Director, Ethics Support, Institute for Translational Sciences

2005 recipient of the Dr. Leon Bromberg Professor for Excellence in Teaching

Ph.D., Philosophy
University of Tennessee

M.S., Nursing
Texas Womens University


Michele A. Carter joined the Institute for the Medical Humanities in 1993 and developed the Institutional Ethics Programs for UTMB. Dr. Carter holds baccalaureate and Masters degrees in Nursing, a PhD in Philosophy and was the first recipient of a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical and Research Ethics in the Bioethics Program of the National Institutes of Health.

In the IMH she teaches graduate seminars in "Clinical Ethics," "Philosophical Ethics," and “International Research Ethics.” These courses are designed to develop specific competencies in both theory and practice as they relate to ethical concerns in health care and research settings. In addition, she has developed several courses in the responsible conduct of research with human subjects, research ethics, and advanced health care ethics. She has provided guest lectures on a variety of ethics topics in diverse venues, and with students from all health professions. 

Her longstanding research and interests include clinical ethics practice, trust as a moral value in helping relationships and the ethics of research with human beings.

In recent years Dr. Carter’s scholarship efforts are focused on integrating emerging ethical issues in translational sciences.  She is the Director of the Ethics Support Key Resource in UTMB’s Institute for Translational Science. She is a member of the NIH CTSA National Consortium Subcommittee on Research Ethics Consultation.  Her research on trust led to a guest editorship of a special ethics edition of Nursing Clinics of North America, and was recognized by both the UT System Task Force on IRBs and the Association of Academic Health Center (AAHC). Additionally, several book chapters are published in scientific textbooks, and a co-authored article on “Child-Centered Care in Terminal Illness” has been cited by the American Academy of Pediatrics Statement of Palliative Care for Children. Finally, a book-length manuscript entitled Clinical Research Ethics: a Handbook for Investigators is currently under review with Springer Publishers. 

On the national scene, she has achieved national visibility as an ethicist scholar, and is a member of professional societies in philosophy, humanities, and research ethics. She has served as a grant reviewer and consultant in research ethics to the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and other scientific institutions, both in the US and in Mexico. Currently, she is a leader in the national effort to build research ethics consultation programs.

In 2005-2006, Dr. Carter was appointed the Dr. Leon Bromberg Professor for Excellence in Teaching. In 2007 she was appointed as the inaugural holder of the Frances C. and Courtney M. Townsend Sr., M.D. Professor in Medical Ethics, and in 2008, she was inducted into the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers and holds the honor of being a Distinguished Teacher in the University of Texas System. She is director of the Research Ethics Consultation Service and Research Subject Advocate at UTMB.

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