Dr. Judy Illes, CM, PhD

Dr. Judy Illes, CM, PhD


Distinguished University Scholar

UBC Distinguished Scholar in Neuroethics

Faculty of Medicine

School of Population and Public Health, School of Journalism

Vancouver Campus


Addiction, Aging, Ethics, Health Care, Neuroscience / Cognitive Science

Contact Information

Chosen name and pronouns:

Dr. Judy Illes (She/Her/Hers)


Tel: 604-822-0746



Alternate Contact

Erik Rolfsen

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Tel: 604.822.2644

Cell: 604.209.3048

Email: erik.rolfsen@ubc.ca


Ethics, brain, biomedicine, bioethics, neuroscience, Dr. Illes is a world-reknowned pioneer of the field of neuroethics that was formally established in early 2000 to directly align biomedical ethics with neuroscience in research, clinical practice, and the commercialization of brain health. She received her PhD from Stanford University, and holds faculty appointments at UBC, the University of Washington in Seattle, and Clare Hall at Cambridge University in England. She is co-lead of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy of the International Brain Initiative, and sits on numerous advisory boards, including the Standing Committee on Ethics and the Institute for Neuroscience Mental Health and Addiction of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She also is a newly appointed Director-at-Large of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Illes is often asked to provide expert consultation and testimony on ethics matters involving conflict of interest, neuroprivacy, and ownership of research data, governance, and regulation. She received the Order of Canada, the country’s highest citizen award, in 2017.


French – somewhat fluent

In the Media

Alive inside: How do we reach ‘vegetative’ patients when tests show they’re aware of everything – National Post, Montreal Gazette Functional Imaging of the Fetal Brain – Dana Foundation A plan of last resort: Choosing who lives and dies if ICUs turn into virus war zones – National Post