Brian Herman

Willing to speak to media

1977 …2016

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Herman has spent the past 40 years teaching, doing research and serving as the administrator in charge of research at Harvard Medical School, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), the University of Texas (UT) and the University of Minnesota (UMN).

Dr. Herman’s research has focused on the areas of aging and cell death. His work has led to new insights into the disease process of osteoporosis- bone weakening that occurs as we age and is the most common reason for a broken bone among the elderly. His research has also provided important insights into neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s Disease), and cancer. Because of his research contributions he has been awarded multiple honors including being listed in American Men and Women of Science, American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, Presidential Distinguished Senior Scholar Award, Who’s Who in American Education, Dozer Fellowship from Ben Gurion University, Israel and two 10 year Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award, awarded by the National Institutes of Health to the top 1-2% scientists in the US.

Dr. Herman has also served as Vice President for Research at UT Health in San Antonio, Texas, and at UMN. He also served as Chancellor's Health Fellow for Collaboration for the UT System where he focused on strategic investments to support collaborative infrastructure, culture, training and administrative oversight across the 15 campuses of the UT System. In these roles, Dr. Herman created complex partnerships between universities and corporations and between universities and government entities; undertook significant work in economic development; and developed successful proven strategies for life science startup companies to raise capital and market themselves successfully. He has worked closely with philanthropic foundations to secure funding for strategic investments to advance the state of knowledge to help improve our society.

As a senior research administrator, Dr. Herman worked at the US national level to develop conflict of interest/financial conflict of interest policies that have been adopted by US universities to make sure that research done by colleges and universities is free from inappropriate influences. Additionally, Dr. Herman has spent many years examining and developing policies surrounding the treatment and inclusion of human participants in clinical research trials. These focused on the ethical issues surrounding recruitment of mentally ill patients into trials following involuntarily commitment, whether physicians should recruit their own patients in research trials they are performing, whistleblower protections that allow employees to report unethical behavior without retribution and institutional culture as it relates to moral, ethical choices.

Presently, Dr. Herman is a Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UMN, where he has developed and teaches a course on ethics. This course deals with a historical perspective of the many ethical issues surrounding the inappropriate conduct of scientific research, deontological vs. utilitarian ethics as it applies to scientific research and an examination of the behavioral underpinnings that led some to undertake unethical and/or illegal activity. He is currently incorporating Dharma/Buddhist philosophies regarding compassion as it relates to moral and ethical behavior.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Interest Keywords

  • Aging
  • osteoporosis
  • Neurodegeneration


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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