Founded in 2003, the Center for the Study of Human Values and Ethics at Washington University is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program with a mission to advance the understanding of the most complex and troubling ethical issues facing society. The Center works with students, faculty, and community leaders in all professions providing education, research, community outreach, and service in ethics and human values.

Dr. Ira J. Kodner is Director of the Center and the Solon and Bettie Gershman Professor of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Washington University. After 20 years of teaching medical students ethical and compassionate care of their patients, he became a consultant and author for the American College of Surgeons curriculum for teaching ethics to surgery residents. Dr. Kodner has published more than 100 scientific articles relating to colorectal diseases. The recipient of many honors for accomplishments in medicine and teaching, he also serves as a Chief Medical Consultant for KMOV-TV and serves as attending in the Surgery Clinic at St. Louis Connect Care.

Dr. Stuart Yoak is the Executive Officer for the Center and Lecturer in Professional Ethics at Washington University. In addition to his work at the Center, Professor Yoak teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in ethics at Washington University. He chairs the Biomedical Ethics Committee at Christian Hospital in St. Louis and is actively involved in patient-physician case consultations and education for the hospital. He consults regularly with corporate leaders and gives presentations to professional meetings on ethical decision making.