Jason Karlawish
  • Titles:
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
  • Education:
  • Northwestern University, MD
  • Johns Hopkins University (Internal Medicine)
  • University of Chicago (Geriatric Medicine)

Dr. Jason Karlawish is a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He is board-certified in geriatric medicine. He was educated at Northwestern University, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Karlawish is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Senior Fellow of the Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives, fellow of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging, director of the Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB), affiliated faculty with the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Co-Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and co-director of the Penn Memory Center. He is also director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core and the center’s Research Education Component.

His research focuses on aging, neuroethics, and policy. He has investigated issues in dementia drug development, informed consent, quality of life, paradoxical lucidity and theory of mind in dementia, research and treatment decision-making, and voting by persons living with dementia. He is the project leader of makingsenseofalzheimers.org, a creative space for understanding the past, present and future of Alzheimer’s disease. He is the author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture and Politics Turned a Rare Disease Into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It, and the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont. His essays on ethics and aging have appeared in The Hill, The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, STAT News, and The Washington Post. To learn more about his research and writing, visit www.jasonkarlawish.com.

Jason Karlawish cares for patients at the Penn Memory Center. His research focuses on issues in bioethics. He investigates the development and translation of Alzheimer’s disease treatments and diagnostics, informed consent, quality of life, research and treatment decision making, and voting by persons with cognitive impairment and residents of long term care facilities. He is an international proponent of mobile polling, a method of bringing the vote to long term care facilities that minimizes fraud and maximizes voter rights. In a widely publicized essay in the Journal of the American Medical Association, he introduced the concept of “desktop medicine,” a theory of medicine that recognizes how risk and its numerical representations are transforming medicine, medical care, and health.

He is the author of Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont, a novel based on true events along the 19th century American frontier, that tells how emotion and passion, together with social and political pressures, slowly corrupt the physician’s character and ethics, a corruption that drives Dr. Beaumont to increasingly desperate acts.

Karlawish has disseminated his work in peer reviewed publications and chapters in leading textbooks of medicine and bioethics, testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Aging and the Department of Health and Human Services Subcommittee on the Inclusion of Individuals with Impaired Decision-making in Research, and collaborations with the Alzheimers Disease Cooperative Study, the Alzheimers Association, American Bar Association, American Association of Retired Persons, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Vermont, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

He is the Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center and a member of the Board of Directors of the Greenwall Foundation.

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