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Mark Yarborough

Mark Yarborough

Dean's Professor of Bioethics

Director of the Clinical Research Ethics Program

Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine

Bioethics Program
University of California Davis
4150 V Street, Suite 2500

Sacramento , CA 95817


  1. Ph.D Philosophy (special concentration in medical ethics) University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1984
  2. M.A. Philosophy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1980
  3. B.A. Religion and Philosophy, Berry College, 1977


My primary area of interest is learning what makes research, especially biomedical research, worthy of the significant public trust it enjoys. I'm also interested in  learning what practices can increase the likelihood that those characteristics are present in contemporary research. As a result, much of my current work is focused on the scientific community making trustworthy science a higher priority and studying whether practices to improve trustworthiness used in other social endeavors that also require the public's trust can be successfully applied in the scientific research setting. Ethical issues related to stem cell research, in particular first-in-human trials of stem cell therapies of neurological disorders, is another area of current work. My teaching interests include integrating ethics learning into graduate and post-graduate science programs,as well as interprofessional education. Promoting better community engagement by the scientific research community is also of great interest.

Select publications

Sorensen, PL, Gane, LW, Yarborough, M, Hagerman, RJ, and Tassone, F. 2013. "Newborn Screening and Cascade Testing for FMR1 Mutations." American Journal of Medical Genetics, 161A(1): 59-69

Yarborough M. 2013. "Increasing enrollment in drug trials: the need for greater transparency about the social value of research in recruitment efforts." Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 88(5): 442-445

Yarborough, M, and Hunter, L. 2013. "Teaching Ethics Better: Focus on Excellent Science, Not Bad Scientists." Clinical and Translational Science Journal

Yarborough, M, Edwards, K, Espinoza, P, Geller, G, Sarwal, A, Sharp, R, and Spicer, P. 2013. "Relationships Hold the Key to Trustworthy and Productive Translational Science: Recommendations for Expanding Community Engagement in Biomedical Research." Clinical and Translational Science Journal

Yarborough, M, Tempkin, T, Nolta, J, and Joyce, N. 2012. "The Complex Ethics of First in Human Stem Cell Clinical Trials." AJOB Neuroscience, 3(2):14-16

Yarborough, M , Fryer-Edwards. K, Geller, G, and Sharp, RR. 2009. "Transforming the Culture of Biomedical Research from Compliance to Trustworthiness: Insights from Non-Medical Sectors." Academic Medicine, 472-477

Yarborough, M, and Sharp, RR. 2009. "Public Trust and Research a Decade Later: What Have We Learned Since Jesse Gelsinger’s Death?" Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 97:4-5

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