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Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Interim Chair, Community Health and Prevention

Michael Yudell, PhD, MPH
Phone: 267.359.6084
College: School of Public Health
Program: Community Health and Prevention
CV: Download CV


BA, History and Soviet Studies, Tufts University; MPhil, U.S. History, City University of New York; MPH, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health


Prior to joining Drexel in 2004, Michael Yudell held the positions of researcher in the Molecular Laboratories at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, where his work focused on genome policy and ethics, and the position of Health Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, where he worked closely with the Institutes ethicist and deputy director on human genome project policy. Dr. Yudell is the author with Rob DeSalle of Welcome to the Genome: A User's Guide to the Genetic Past, Present, and Future, published in September 2004 by John Wiley and Sons. Yudell and DeSalle also edited The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling The Unity Of Life, published in 2002 by the Joseph Henry Press of the National Academy of Science. His work has also been published in Nature Reviews Genetics, The Journal of the History of Biology,Genome Technology,Natural History,and American Scientist.  Dr. Yudell's work seeks to document historically stigmatized populations, the challenges they face in public health and medicine, and how this history impacts contemporary health challenges. His next book Race Unmasked: A 20th Century Struggle to Define Human Difference (forthcoming, Columbia University Press) a history that examines the way in which biologists and geneticists shaped the race concept during the 20th century from eugenics to the sequencing of the human genome. The book pays careful attention to the ways in which scientific conceptions of human difference impact both public health and medicine. Additionally, the work has important implications for bioethics and public health ethics given race’s role in patient care and in our understandings of the health of populations. He is also beginning work on a project that examines ethical issues associated with autism spectrum disorders, including risk communication and health disparities.

Research Interests

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bioethics
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Ethics
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Genomics
  • History of public health


Yudell, M.  Race Unmasked: A 20th Century Struggle to Define Human Difference (Forthcoming, Columbia University Press).

DeSalle, R. and M. Yudell. Welcome to the Genomes. John Wiley & Sons, (Revised Second Edition Forthcoming, 2014).

Rossi, J. Newschaffer, C. and M. Yudell. “Autism Spectrum Disorders, Risk Communication and the Problem of Inadvertent Harm,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (forthcoming, June 2013)

Yudell, M. Tabor, H. Dawson, G. and C. Newschaffer. “Priorities for Autism Risk Disorders Risk Communication and Ethics.” Autism. (August, 23, 2012, EPub ahead of print).

Rossi, J. and Yudell, M. “The Use of Persuasion in Public Health Communication: An Ethical Critique,” Public Health Ethics. 5(2012) pp.192-205.

Rossi, J. and Yudell, M. “Value-Ladenness and Rationality in Health Communication,” American Journal of Bioethics. 12(February 2012) pp.20-22.

Yudell, M. “Science and Race,” in Race and Genetics, Sheldon Krimsky, ed. (Columbia University Press, 2011).

Yudell, M. “Review: Segregation’s Science: Eugenics and Society in Virginia, by Gregory Dorr,” Journal of the History of Biology. 43(May 2010) pp.419-422.

Yudell, M. and R. DeSalle. Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to the Genetic Past, Present and Future. John Wiley & Sons (September, 2004).

Yudell, M. and R. DeSalle, eds. The Genomic Revolution: Unveiling the Unity of Life, National Academy/Joseph Henry Press, 2002.

Yudell, M. “Public Health Ethics: An Update on an Emerging Field” in the Penn Center Guide to Bioethics, Vardit Ravitsky, Autumn Fiester, and Arthur Caplan, eds. (Springer, 2009), pp.559-569.