Akira Akabayashi, MD, PhD, HEC-C

Akira Akabayashi, MD, PhD, HEC-C is a Professor of the Department of Biomedical Ethics of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. His research interests span cross-cultural bioethics, global bioethics, medical/clinical ethics such as informed consent, organ transplantation, and end-of-life issues, medical humanities such as professionalism, public health ethics, research ethics, bioethics policy making, neuroethics, and ethics of regenerative medicine.


As an academic researcher, he has published more than 180 original articles and more than 20 books or chapters in English in addition to many Japanese publications. As an educator, Prof. Akabayashi has taught bioethics/medical ethics for over 25 years to medical students as well as undergraduate students in many fields, and has supervised more than 60 PhD and masters students.


Prof. Akabayashi also serves as chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine. In this capacity, he has reviewed over 30,000 research protocols. He is also the Founding Director of Office for Human Research Studies where he conducts research ethics consultation. Prof. Akabayashi was engaged in clinical ethics consultation as the Founding Director of the Clinical Ethics Center at the University of Tokyo Hospital, and dealt with more than 3,000 consultations annually. He holds a HEC-C certificate issued by ASBH. As a part-time physician, he worked at a hospice for ten years.


He was a member of several governmental bioethics policy committees in Japan, such as the Bioethics and Biosafety Commission, and the Council for Science and Technology Policy. He also served a member of UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, and a board member of International Association for Bioethics, and an International Advisory Board, Oxford Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford, UK. He was elected as the President of Japan Association for Bioethics in 2017. He was also honored as a Fellow of The Hastings Center in 2008. 


Prof. Akabayashi now serves as an editorial advisor for the journal BMC Medical Ethics, a consulting editor for Asian Bioethics Review, a founding editor of CBEL Report, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Medical Ethics and Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. He was also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Japan Association for Bioethics, and was on editorial boards of the Health Care Analysis.

Prof. Akabayashi established the first Bioethics Center (University of Tokyo Center of Biomedical Ethics and Law: CBEL) in Asia in 2003. This center was acknowledged as a global Center of Excellence in Japan, highlighting the strong leadership. His ability as an organizer as well as an academic educator and researcher is highly evaluated.


He wrote an educational textbook in Asian context which might be also useful in USA; Biomedical Ethics in Asia: A Casebook for Multicultural Learners (McGraw-Hill, 2010, kindle version available). He also edited a very thick book, The Future of Bioethics: International Dialogue (Oxford University Press, 2014, 786 pages). His current interest focuses on global bioethics, expanding dialogues among all bioethics researchers in the world. His most recent book is Bioethics Across the Globe: Rebirthing Bioethics (Springer, 2020, Open Access).


Akira Akabayashi, MD, PhD, HEC-C

Academic Title: 
University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine