Leigh Garven Turner

Picture of Leigh Garven Turner
Professor, Health, Society, and Behavior
Public Health
Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1996, Religion & Social Ethics
M.A., University of Southern California, 1995, Religion & Social Ethics
M.A., University of Manitoba, 1993, Religious Studies
B.A., University of Winnipeg, 1990, Religious Studies
University of California, Irvine
Anteater Instruction & Research Offices (AIRB)
653 E. Peltason, Dr. 2nd Floor
University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 3957
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Public health ethics, translational research ethics, ethics of stem cell research & regenerative medicine, responsible conduct of research, direct-to-consumer marketing, health-related misinformation, health humanities, social studies of health & illness
Academic Distinctions
2016 Ryan Bioethicist in Residence, Southern Illinois University, IL, USA
2013 Visiting Fellow, Brocher Foundation, Hermance, Switzerland
2013 Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar, Scientific Institute for Quality of
Healthcare & Division of Medical Ethics, Radboud University,
Nijmegen, Netherlands
2006-2008 William Dawson Scholar, Biomedical Ethics Unit and Department of
Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal,
Quebec, Canada
2006-2007 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Comparative Program on Health and
Society, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada
2003-2004 Member, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study,
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
1999 Visiting Scholar, Institute for the Medical Humanities, University of
Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
Short Biography
Leigh Turner is Executive Director of the University of California, Irvine Bioethics Program and a Professor in the Program in Public Health’s Department of Health, Society, and Behavior. He is also a member of UCI’s Stem Cell Research Center and lead’s the UCI’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science’s Clinical Research Ethics Consultation Service. His current research addresses ethical, legal, and social issues related to stem cells and regenerative medicine products. In particular, he uses approaches from bioethics and the social sciences to examine clinics engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven and unlicensed cell-based interventions. He also studies ethical issues related to crowdfunding for medical care, cross-border health-related travel, and other topics. Turner is a co-editor of Risks and Challenges in Medical Tourism: Understanding the Global Market for Health Services and The View from Here: Bioethics and the Social Sciences.
Turner L. 2021. Hope, Hype, Cures, and Persons With Cerebral Palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2021: Published online September 18.
Turner L., Snyder J. 2021. Ethical issues concerning a pay-to-participate stem cell study. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 10: 815-819.

Turner L. 2021 ISSCR’s Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation: Supporting development of safe and efficacious stem cell-based interventions. Stem Cell Reports 16: 1394-1397.

Lovell-Badge R., Anthony A., Barker R., Bubela T., Brivanlou A., Carpenter M., Charo, A., Clark A., Clayton E., Cong Y., Daley G., Fu J., Fujita M., Greenfield A., Goldman S., Hill L., Hyun I., Isasi R., Kahn J., Kato K., Kim, J-S., Kimmelman J., Knoblich J., Mathews D., Montserrat N., Mosher J., Munsie M., Nakauchi H., Naldini L., Naughton G., Niakan K., Ogbogu U., Pedersen R., Rivron, N., Rooke H., Rossant J., Round J., Saitou M., Sipp D., Steffann J., Sugarman J., Surani A., Takahashi J., Tang F., Turner L., Zettler P., Zhai X. ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation: The 2021 update. Stem Cell Reports 16: 1398-1408.

Snyder J., Turner L. 2020. Crowdfunding, stem cell interventions and autism spectrum disorder: comparing campaigns related to an international “stem cell clinic” and US academic medical center. Cytotherapy 23, 3: 198-202.

Snyder J., Bateman-House A., Turner L. 2020. Is right to try being tried? Using crowdfunding data to better understand usage of nontribal pre-approval access pathways. Regenerative Medicine 15, 8: 1979-1985.

Turner L. 2020. Preying on Public Fears and Anxieties in a Pandemic: Businesses Selling Unproven and Unlicensed “Stem Cell Treatments” for COVID-19. Cell Stem Cell 26 (6): 806-810.

Smith C., Martin-Lille C., Higano J., Turner L., Phu S., Arthurs J., Nelson T., Shapiro S., Master Z. 2020. Regenerative Medicine 15 (3): 1427-1440.

Sipp D., Turner L., Rasko, J. 2019 Stem Cell Businesses and Right to Try Laws. Cell Stem Cell 25 (3): 304-305.

Snyder J., Turner L. 2019. Crowdfunding for Stem Cell Based Interventions Intended to Treat Neurological Diseases and Injuries. Neurology 93, 6: 1-7.

Fu W., Smith C., Turner L., Fojtik J., Pacyna J., Master Z. 2019. Characteristics and Scope of Training of Clinicians Participating in the US Direct-to-Consumer Marketplace for Unproven Stem Cell Interventions. Journal of the American Medical Association 321, 24: 2463-2464.

Ikonomou L., Wagner DE., Turner L., Weiss DJ. 2019. Translating Basic Research into Safe and Effective Cell-based Treatments for Respiratory Diseases. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 16, 6: 657-668.

Tanner C, Munsie M, Sipp D, Turner L, Wheatland C. 2019. The politics of evidence in online illness narratives: an analysis of crowdfunding for purported stem cell treatments. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 23, 4: 436-457.

Zarzeczny A., Atkins H., Illes J., Kimmelman J., Master Z., Robillard J., Snyder J., Turner L., Zettler P., Caulfield P. 2018. The stem cell market and policy options: a call for clarity. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1-16.

Turner L. 2018. Direct-to-consumer marketing of stem cell interventions by Canadian Businesses. Regenerative Medicine 13 (6): 643-658.

Sipp D., Robey, P., and Turner L. 2018. Clear up this stem-cell mess. Nature 561 (7724): 455-457.

Wagner D., Turner L., Panoskaltsis-Mortari A., Weiss D., Ikonomou L. 2018. Co-opting of ClinicalTrials.gov by patient-funded studies. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 6 (8): 579-581.

Turner L. 2018. The U.S. Direct-to-Consumer Marketplace for Autologous Stem Cell Interventions. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 61, 1: 7-24.

Snyder J., Turner L. 2018. Selling stem cell ‘treatments’ as research: prospective customer perspectives from crowdfunding campaigns. Regenerative Medicine 13 (4): 375-384.

Snyder J, Turner L, Crooks V. 2018. Crowdfunding for Unproven Stem Cell-Based Interventions. Journal of the American Medical Association 319, 18: 1935-1936.

Knoepfler P., Turner L. 2018. The FDA and the US direct-to-consumer marketplace for stem cell interventions: a temporal analysis. Regenerative Medicine 13 (1): 19-27.

Weiss D., Turner L., Levine A., Ikonomou L. 2018. Medical Societies, Patient Education Initiatives, Public Debate, and the Marketing of Unproven Stem Cell Interventions. Cytotherapy 20 (2): 165-168.

Turner L. 2017. ClinicalTrials.gov, Stem Cells, and “Pay-to-Participate” Clinical Studies. Regenerative Medicine. 12 (6): 705-719.

Martins Martinho A., Turner L. 2017. Stem Cells in Court: Historical Trends in U.S. Legal Cases Related to Stem Cells. Regenerative Medicine 12 (4): 419-430.

Crooks V., Whitmore, R., Snyder J., Turner, L. 2017. “Ensure that you are well aware of the risks you are taking…”: Actions and activities medical tourists’ informal caregivers can undertake to protect their health and safety. BMC Public Health 17: 487: 1-10.

Turner L., Knoepfler P. 2016. Selling Stem Cells in the USA: Assessing the Direct-to-Consumer Industry. Cell Stem Cell 19 (2): 154-157.

O’Donnell L., Turner L, Levine, A. 2016. The role of communication in better understanding unproven cellular therapies. Cytotherapy 18, 1: 143-148.

Dominici M., Nichols K., Srivastava A., Weiss D., Eldridge P., Cuende N., Deans R., Rasko J., Levine A., Turner L., Griffith D., O’Donnell L., Forte M., Mason C., Wagena E., Janssen W., Norton R., Wall, D., Ho H., Ruiz M., Wilton S., Horwitz E., Gunter K. 2015. Positioning a scientific community on unproven cellular therapies: The 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy Perspective. Cytotherapy 1: 1663-1666.

Turner L. 2015. Federal Regulatory Oversight of U.S. Clinics Marketing Adipose-derived Autologous Stem Cell Interventions: Insights from Three New FDA Draft Guidance Documents. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 90, 5: 567-571.

Turner L. 2015. U.S. Clinics Marketing Unproven and Unlicensed Adipose-derived Autologous “Stem Cell” Interventions. Regenerative Medicine 10, 4: 397-402.

Turner L. 2015. U.S. Stem Cell Clinics, Patient Safety, and the FDA. Trends in Molecular Medicine 21, 5: 271-273.

Casey, V, Crooks V, Snyder J, Turner L. 2014. Knowledge brokers, companions, and navigators: a qualitative examination of informal caregivers’ roles in medical tourism. International Journal for Equity in Health 12: 94 (10 page article)

Turner L. 2013. Transnational Medical Travel: Ethical Dimensions of Global Healthcare. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 22, 2: 170-180.

Casey V, Crooks V, Snyder J, Turner L. 2013. ‘You’re dealing with an emotionally charged individual…’: an industry perspective on the challenges posed by medical tourists’ informal caregiver-companions. Globalization and Health 9: 31. (12 page article)

Crooks V, Turner L, Cohen G, Bristeir J, Snyder J, Casey V, Whitmore R. 2013. Ethical and legal implications of the risks of medical tourism for patients: A qualitative study of Canadian health and safety representatives’ perspectives. BMJ Open 3: e002302.

Snyder J, Crooks V, Turner L, and Johnston R. 2013. Understanding the impacts of medical tourism on health human resources in Barbados: a prospective, qualitative study of stakeholders’ perceptions. International Journal for Equity in Health 2013; 12: 2.

Macklin R., Shepherd L., Dreger A., Asch A., Baylis F., Brody H., Churchill L., Coleman C., Cowan E., Dolgin J., Downie J., Dresser R., Elliott C., Epright M., Feder E., Glantz L., Grodin M., Hoffman W., Hoffmaster B., Hunter D., Iltis A., Kahn J., King N., Kraft R., Kukla R., Leavitt L, Lederer S., Lemmens T., Lindemann H., Marshall M., Merz J., Miller F., Mohrmann M., Morreim H., Nass M., Nelson J., Noble J., Reis E., Reverby S., Silvers A., Sousa A., Spece R., Strong C., Swazey J., Turner L. 2013. The OHRP and SUPPORT—another view. New England Journal of Medicine 369: e3.

Sipp D, and Turner L. 2012. U.S. Regulation of Stem Cells as Medical Products. Science 338: 1296-1297.

Turner L. 2012. Beyond “medical tourism”: Canadian companies marketing medical travel. Globalization and Health 8: 16.

Turner L. 2012. Making Canada a Destination for Medical Tourists: Why Canadian Provinces Should Not Try to Become “Mayo Clinics of the North”. Healthcare Policy 7: 18-25.

Turner L. 2012. Canada’s turbulent medical tourism Industry. Canadian Family Physician 58: 371-373.

Turner L. 2012. News media reports of patient deaths following “medical tourism” for cosmetic surgery and bariatric surgery. Developing World Bioethics 12: 21-34.

Turner L. 2011. Canadian medical tourism companies that have exited the marketplace: Content analysis of websites used to market transnational medical travel. Globalization and Health 7: 40: 1-16.

Crooks V, Turner L, Snyder J, Johnston R, Kingsbury P. 2011. Promoting Medical Tourism to India: Messages, Images and the Marketing of International Patient Travel. Social Science & Medicine 72: 726-732.

Turner L. 2011. Quality in health care and globalization of health services: accreditation and regulatory oversight of medical tourism companies. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 23: 1-7.

Runnels V, Turner L. 2011. Bioethics and Transnational Medical Travel: India, “Medical Tourism”, and the Globalization of Health Care. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 1: 42-44.
Pew Charitable Trusts: The U.S. Direct-to-Consumer Marketplace for Unproven & Unapproved Stem Cell Interventions: Empirical Research, Ethical Critique, & Policy Guidance
Professional Societies
International Society for Stem Cell Research
International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy
Other Experience
Associate Professor
University of Minnesota 2008—2021
Assistant/Associate Professor
McGill University 2000—2008
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics 1998—2000
Research Associate
The Hastings Center 1996—1997
Research Assistant
University of Southern California 1996—1996
Graduate Programs
Public Health
Research Centers
Stem Cell Research Center
Institute for Clinical & Translational Science
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