Rochester, Minnesota




The research of Richard Sharp, Ph.D., examines ethical tensions in medicine and biomedical research. He has studied a variety of topics in biomedical ethics, including the integration of genetic technologies into patient care, best practices for clinical ethics consultation, financial conflicts of interest and ethical dimensions of patient advocacy. His current research examines how patients and health care providers view new forms of personalized medicine and clinical interventions enabled by molecular diagnostics. Dr. Sharp frequently advises health care organizations on ethical issues and has served on advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Medicine, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

At Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sharp directs the Biomedical Ethics Program, the Center for Individualized Medicine Bioethics Program and the Clinical and Translational Research Ethics Program.

Focus areas

  • Clarifying how patients and health care providers view the benefits and risks of new medical innovations, particularly new genomic and information technologies
  • Increasing public trust in biomedical research through community engagement and outreach
  • Characterizing collaborations between patient advocacy organizations and clinical researchers
  • Establishing best practices for clinical and research ethics consultation services

Significance to patient care

The rapid pace of medical innovation has generated unprecedented ethical challenges for patients and health care providers. In navigating these challenges, patients and caregivers must strike an appropriate balance among competing personal goals and ethical values. Dr. Sharp’s research aims to elucidate deeply held personal and professional values that are shaping changes in medical practice. By clarifying these values, his research encourages broader institutional and national dialogue on how best to ensure that new developments in medicine are consistent with the ethical values and expectations of patients and the communities served by health care organizations.

Professional highlights

  • Associate editor, American Journal of Bioethics, 2012-present
  • Member, Social, Ethical and Legal Issues Committee, American College of Medical Genetics, 2011-present
  • Member, Institute of Medicine Committee on Human and Environmental Exposure Science, 2009-2012

Clinical Studies

See my clinical studies


See my publications


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Health Care Policy & Research, Department of Health Sciences Research

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
  2. Consultant, Department of Clinical Genomics, Mayo Clinic Enterprise

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Biomedical Ethics
  2. Professor of Medicine


  1. PhD - Philosophy Michigan State University
  2. MA - Philosophy Michigan State University
  3. BA - Philosophy and Sociology Western Michigan University

Mayo Clinic Footer