Faculty Scholars Program

Emily A. Largent, JD, PhD, RN

Class of 2023
  • Emanuel and Robert Hart Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
  • Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Scholar Project

Emily A. Largent is the Emanuel and Robert Hart Assistant Professor Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Her scholarly work focuses primarily on ethical and regulatory oversight issues in human subjects research. Dr. Largent co-authored Clinical Research Ethics Consultation: A Casebook (Oxford University Press, 2012), and in 2019, she was an inaugural recipient of The Hasting Center’s David Roscoe Award for an Early-Career Scholar’s Essay on Science, Ethics, and Society.

In 2019, Dr. Largent received a 5-year K01 award from the National Institute on Aging to conduct qualitative research with participants in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease research. Her Greenwall Project, which builds on her qualitative research, seeks to understand the ethical and legal implications of our evolving understanding of Alzheimer’s disease for patients, their families, and society. 

Dr. Largent studied Science, Technology, and International Affairs as an undergraduate at Georgetown University and earned a second degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. After working as a cardiothoracic ICU nurse, she received her PhD in Health Policy, with a concentration in ethics, from Harvard University and her JD from Harvard Law School. Dr. Largent was previously a fellow in the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health (2008-2010) and clerked for Chief Judge Jeffrey Howard of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (2016-2017).

For more information, visit: https://medicalethicshealthpolicy.med.upenn.edu/faculty-all/emily-largent

Autonomy on the Precipice of Cognitive Decline

Grant Cycle: 2019 - 2020

Clinicians can now diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of dementia using biomarkers. As a result, millions of cognitively unimpaired people will experience a reshaping of their autonomy in their private and public lives. Professor Largent’s research aims to begin making sense of this reshaping from an ethical and legal perspective by (1) describing effects on autonomy at home and in the workplace and (2) providing a theoretical account of autonomy to inform future policy deliberations.


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