Currently, Dr. Caplan is the Emanuel and Robert Hart Director of the Center for Bioethics and the Sidney Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Prior to coming to the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Caplan taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University. He was the Associate Director of the Hastings Center from 1984 to 1987. Dr. Caplan did his undergraduate work at Brandeis University and did his graduate work at Columbia University, where he received a Ph.D.degree in the history and philosophy of science in 1979.
Dr. Caplan is the author or editor of 30 books and over 550 papers in refereed journals. His most recent books are Smart Mice Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006) and The Penn Guide to Bioethics (Springer, 2009). He has served as chairman on a number of national and international committees, including: National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Working Group, Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning, and the Advisory Committee to the Department of Health and Human Services on Blood Safety and Availability.
Dr. Caplan is the recipient of many awards and honors including the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association and the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia. He received the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics for 2011. He was named a Person of the Year – 2001 from USA Today. He was described as one of the 10 most influential people in science by Discover magazine in 2008. He has also been honored as one of the 50 most influential people in American health care by Modern Health Care magazine, one of the ten most influential people in America in biotechnology by the National Journal, and one of the 10 most influential people in the ethics of biotechnology by the editors of Nature Biotechnology.