JHU Announces Dracopoulos Directorship

The Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University has announced the endowment of its directorship, made possible by the generous gift of its long-time supporter and board member, Andreas C. Dracopoulos, said Ruth R. Faden, Director of the Institute.

Named the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Directorship, this is the first such-known endowed directorship at a center of bioethics scholarship, announced the Institute on its website, http://www.bioethicsinstitute.org.

“Mr. Dracopoulos’ extraordinary generosity further secures the Berman Institute’s future. It will enable us to multiply the impact of our work and mission, helping to shape and respond to the pressing bioethics issues of this generation, and those to come,” Faden said.  Bioethics is a field that is only a few generations old, Faden said, and Dracopoulos’ generosity helps to fortify its permanent place in the academy.

“I don’t think of this donation as a gift, because the Berman Institute has earned this. Rather, I consider it a recognition of what the Institute has already achieved,” said Dracopoulos, according to the website. “It’s my hope this will spur both the University and the Berman Institute to take bioethics at Johns Hopkins to the next level.”

The website also included a statement from Johns Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels: “We are truly grateful for Andreas’ extraordinary support of the Berman Institute. This gift embodies the depth of Andreas’ commitment to Berman’s pathbreaking work in bioethics, his vision for its continued success and, most importantly, his great humanity.”

The Institute’s mission, according to its website, is: “to conduct advanced scholarship on the ethics of clinical practice, biomedical science, and public health, both locally and globally, and to engage students, trainees, the public, and policy-makers in serious discourse about these issues. We are committed to the following: Conducting cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research. Training the next generation of leaders in bioethics. Helping to prepare students and trainees for the ethical challenges of professional

and civic life. Informing the public about bioethical issues. Contributing to more ethical public policies and practices.

“Established in 1995, the Berman Institute is now one of the largest centers of its kind in the world. Today, the Berman Institute consists of more than 30 core and affiliated faculty from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Faculty work collaboratively on scholarship and teaching in the Institute’s five areas of focus: Biomedical research and discovery. Ethics of clinical practice. Public health ethics and health policy. Research ethics. Global health ethics and research.”

According to the Institute’s website, “in addition to serving on the Berman Institute’s Advisory Board, Dracopoulos is a member of the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees. As president of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Dracopoulos has supported initiatives across the University, including seed money for the Berman Institute’s “rapid response” communications program, which facilitates the faculty’s timely public outreach on pressing bioethics issues as they arise. Globally, Dracopoulos and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation contribute to diverse efforts in health, education, social welfare and culture that they anticipate will have broad, lasting and positive social impact.

“Johns Hopkins recognizes the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Directorship as a contribution to Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins, an effort to raise $4.5 billion, primarily to support students, faculty, and clinicians and interdisciplinary solutions to some of humanity’s most important problems. The campaign, supporting both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, was publicly launched in May 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2017.  Including the Dracopoulos gift, more than $2.4 billion has been committed so far.”