Group Website:
Vision Statement:

Aligning innovations in neuroscience with societal, cultural and individual human values through high impact research, education and outreach.

Research Interests:

Neuroethics, neurotechology, CNS

Research Summary:

Dr. Illes’ research focuses on ethical, legal, social and policy challenges specifically at the intersection of the neurosciences and biomedical ethics. This includes studies of functional neuroimaging in basic and clinical research, stem cells and regenerative medicine, dementia, addiction, neurodevelopmental disorders, and the commercialization of cognitive neuroscience. She also leads a robust program of research and outreach devoted to improving the literacy of neuroscience and engaging stakeholders on a global scale.

Recent Publications:

(Past 5 Years)
Refereed Publications:
1. Kirschen, M.P., Jaworska, A., Illes, J. Subjects’ expectations in neuroimaging research. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2006, 23(2):205-209.
2. Illes, J., Kirschen, M.P., Edwards, E., Stanford, L.R., Bandettini, P., Michael, D.B., Ford, P.J., Glover, G.H., Kulynych, J., Macklin R., Wolf, S.M. Ethics. Incidental findings in brain imaging research. Science, 2006, 311(5762):783-784.
3. Illes, J., DeVries, R., Cho, M.K., Schraedley-Desmond, P. ELSI priorities for brain imaging. American Journal of Bioethics, 2006, 6(2):24-31.
4. Illes, J., Gallo, M., Kirschen, M.P. An ethics perspective on the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for human neuromodulation, In A. Pascual-Leone (Ed). TMS: Disrupting the brain to enhance human cognitive abilities. Special Issue of Behavioral Neurology, 2006, 17:1-9.
5. Racine, E., Illes, J. Neuroethical responsibilities. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences (also in French). 2006, 33(3):269-277.
6. Racine, E., Bar-Ilan, O., Illes, J. A decade of brain imaging coverage in the print media. Science Communication, 2006, 28(1):122-143.
7. Illes, J., Bird, S.J. Neuroethics: A modern context for ethics neuroscience. Trends in Neuroscience, 2006, 29(9):511-517.
8. Racine, E., Van der Loos, H.Z.A., Illes, J. Internet marketing of neuroproducts: New practices and healthcare policy challenges. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2007, 16(2):181-194.
9. Racine, E., DuRousseau, D., Illes, J. Ethical issues in performance-enhancing technologies: From bench to headline. Technology, 2007, 11(1):37-54.
10. Illes, J., Rosen A., Greicius, M., Racine, E. Prospects for prediction: An ethics analysis of neuroimaging in Alzheimer’s Disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2007, 1097:278-295.
11. Singh, J., Hallmayer, J., Illes, J. Interacting and paradoxical forces in neuroscience and society. Nature Review Neuroscience, 2007, 8(2):153-160.
12. Racine, E., Illes, J. Emerging ethical challenges in advanced neuroimaging research. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 2007, 2(2):1-10.
13. Illes, J. Empirical neuroethics. Can brain imaging visualize human thought? Why is neuroethics interested in such a possibility? EMBO Reports, 2007, 8, S57-S61.
14. Greely, H., Illes, J. Neuroscience-based lie detection: The urgent need for regulation. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 2007, 33(2-3):377-431.
15. Murphy, E.R., Illes, J. Neuroethics and psychiatry: New collaborations for emerging challenges. Psychiatric Annals, 2007, 37(12):798-804.
16. Eaton, M., Illes, J. Commercializing cognitive neurotechnology – The ethical terrain. Nature Biotechnology, 2007, 25(4):1-5.
17. Racine, E., Waldman, S., Palmour, N., Risse, D., Illes, J. Currents of hope: Neurostimulation techniques in US and UK print media. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2007, 16(3):314-318.
18. Illes, J., Kirschen, M.P., Edwards, E., Bandettini, P., Michael, D.B., Ford, P.J., Glover, G.H., Kulynych, J., Macklin, R., Wolf, S.M., Grabowski, T., Seto, B. Practical approaches to incidental findings in brain imaging research. Neurology, 2008, 70(5):384-390.
19. Lombera, S., Illes, J. International dimensions of neuroethics. Developing World Bioethics, 2008, 9(2):57-64.
20. Illes, J. Lombera, S., Rosenberg, J., Arnow, B.A. In the mind’s eye: Provider and patient attitudes on functional brain imaging. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2008, 43(2):107-114.
21. Wolf, S.W., Lawrenz, F., Nelson, C.A., Kahn, J.P., Cho, M.K., Clayton, E., Fletcher, J., Georgieff, M., Hammerschmidt, D., Hudson, K., Illes, J., Kapur, V., Keane, M., King, R., Koenig, B., LeRoy, B., McFarland, E., Paradise, J., Parker, L., Terry, S., Van Ness, B., Wilfond, B. Managing incidental findings in human subjects research. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2008, 36(2):219-248.
22. Illes, J., Chin, V.N. Bridging philosophical and practical implications of incidental findings in brain research. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2008, 36(2):298-304.
23. Illes, J., Lau, P.W., Giacino, J.T. Viewpoint: Neuroimaging, impaired states of consciousness, and public outreach. Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, 2008, 4(10):542-543.
24. Fins, J.*, Illes, J.*, Bernat, J.L., Hirsch, J., Laureys, S., Murphy, E.R. (*lead authors). Neuroimaging and disorders of consciousness: Envisioning an ethical research agenda. American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience, 2008, 8(9):3-12.
25. Racine, E., Amaram, R., Seidler, M., Karczewska, M., Illes, J. Media coverage of the persistent vegetative state and end-of-life decision-making. Neurology, 2008, 71(13):1027-32. Comment in: Neurology, 2008, 71(13):964-965.
26. Grunwell, J., Karkazis, K., Illes, J. Advancing neuroregenerative medicine: A call for expanded collaboration between neuroscientists and ethicists. Neuroethics, 2008, 2(1):13-20.
27. Murphy ER, Illes, J, Reiner PB, Neuroethics of neuromarketing, J Consumer Behav 7: 293–302 (2008).
28. Illes, J, Lombera, S. Identifiable neuro ethics challenges to the banking of neuro data. Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology, 2009, 10(1):71-94.
29. Tairyan, K., Illes, J. Imaging genetics and the power of combined technologies: A perspective from neuroethics. Neuroscience, 2009, 164(1):7-15.
30. Crawley, L.M., Hisaw, L., Illes, J. Direct-to-consumer advertising in black and white: Racial differences in placement patterns of print advertisements for health products and messages. Health Marketing Quarterly, 2009, 26(4):279-292.
31. Singh, J., Illes, J., Lazzeroni, L., Hallmayer, J. Trends in US Autism Research Funding. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2009, 39(5):788-795.
32. Lau, P.W., Illes, J. The gray zones of privatized imaging. American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience, 2009, 9(4):21-2.
33. Racine, E., Iles, J., Lansberg, M.G., Dion, M.J., Wijman, C. Profiles of neurological outcome prediction among intensivists. Neurocritical Care, 2009, 11(3):345-352.
34. Caulfield, T., Zarzeczny, A., McCormick, J., Bubela, T., Critchley, C., Einsiedel, E., Galipeau, J., Harmon, S., Huynh, M., Hyun, I., Illes, J., Isasi, R., Joly, Y., Laurie, G., Lomax, G., Longstaff, H., McDonald, M., Murdoch, C., Ogbogu, U., Owen-Smith, J., Pattinson, S., Premji, S., von Tigerstrom, B., Winickoff, D.E. The Stem Cell Research Environment: A Patchwork of Patchworks. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 2009, 5(2):82-88.
35. Illes, J. Neurologisms. American Journal of Bioethics. 2009, (9)9:1.
36. Illes, J., Borgelt, E. Incidental findings: In practice and in person. Nature Reviews Neurology. December 2009. 5:643-644.
37. Caulfield, T., Zarzeczny, A., McCormick, J., Bubela, T., Chritchley, C., Einsiedel, E., Galipeau, J., Harmon, S., Huynh, M., Hyun, I., Illes, J., Isasi, R., Joly, Y., Laurie, G., Lomax, G., Longstaff, H., McDonald, M., Murdoch, C., Ogbogu, U., Owen-Smith, J., Pattinson, S., Premji, S., von Tigerstrom, B., Winickoff, D.E. International stem cell environments: A world of difference. Nature Reports Stem Cells, 2009.
38. Butler, R., Dwosh, E., Beattie, B.L., Guimond, C., Lombera, S., Brief, E., Illes, J., Sadovnick, A.D. Genetic counseling for early-onset familial Alzheimer disease in a large Aboriginal kindred from a remote community in British Columbia: unique challenges and possible solutions. Alzheimer’s and Dementia. 2009. 5(4):90.
39. Buchman, D.Z., Borgelt E., Illes, J. Core strategies for the development of a clinical neuroethics education program for medical residents in the clinical neurosciences. Journal of Ethics in Mental Health. 2009. 4(2):1-6
40. Illes, J., Moser, M.A., McCormick, J.B., Racine, E., Blakeslee, S., Caplan, A., Check Hayden, E., Ingram, J., Lohwater, T., McKnight, P., Nicholson, C., Phillips, A., Sauve, K.D., Snell, E., Weiss, S. Neurotalk: Improving the communication of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2010. 11(1):61-69.
41. Buchman, D.Z., Skinner, W., Illes, J. Negotiating the relationship between addiction, ethics, and brain science. American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience. 2010. 1(1):36-45.
42. Lombera, S., Fine, A., Grunau, R.E., Illes, J. Ethics in neuroscience graduate training programs: Views and models from Canada. Mind, Brain, and Education. 2010. 4(1):20-27.
43. Buchman, D.Z., Illes, J. Imaging genetics for our neurogenetic future. Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. 2010. 11(1):79-97.
44. Reimer, J., Borgelt, E., Illes, J. In pursuit of “informed hope” in the stem cell discourse. The American Journal of Bioethics. 2010. 10(5):31-32.
45. Sadatsafavi, M., Li, D., Marra, C., Illes, J. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: A cost-effectiveness analysis of incidentally detected aneurysms in functional MRI research. Value in Health. 2010. 1-9.
46. Racine, E., Waldman, S., Rosenberg, J., Illes, J. Contemporary neuroscience in the media. Social Science & Medicine. 2010. 71:723-733.
47. Illes, J., Tairyan, K., Federico, C., Tabet, A., Glover, G., 2010. Reducing barriers to ethics in neuroscience. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2010. 4(167):1-5.
48. Buchman, D.Z., Illes, J., Reiner, P.B. The paradox of addiction neuroscience. Neuroethics. 10.1007/s12152-010-9079-z.
49. Borgelt, E., Buchman, D.Z., Illes, J. “This is why you’ve been suffering”: Reflections of providers on neuroimaging in mental health care. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2010. DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9271-1:1-11.
50. Brief, E., Illes, J. Tangles of neurogenetics, neuroethics and culture. Neuron, 2010, 68:1-4.
51. Di Pietro, N.C., Whiteley, L., Illes, J. Treatments and services for neurodevelopmental disorders on advocacy websites: Information or evaluation. Neuroethics, DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9102-z.
52. Parke, S., Illes, J. In delicate balance: Stem cells and spinal cord injury advocacy. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. 2010 Dec 14, 10.1007/s12015-010-9211-9.
53. Racine, E., Karczewska, M., Seidler, M., Amaram, R., Illes, J. How the public responded to the Schiavo controversy: Evidence from letters to editors. Journal of Medical Ethics. 2010. doi: 10.1136/jme.201.037804.
54. Racine, E., Northoff, G., Menon, R., Kimmelman, J., Illes, J. A Canadian perspective on ethics review and neuroimaging: Tensions and solutions. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2011, 38(4):572-579.
55. Illes, J., Chahal, N., Beattie, B.L. A landscape for training in dementia knowledge translation (DKT). Journal of Gerontological Education, 2011, 32(3), 260-272.
56. Garnett, A., Whiteley, L, Piwowar, H. Rasmussen, E., Illes, J. Neuroethics and fMRI: Mapping a fledgling relationship, PLoS One. 2011, 6(4), 1-7.
57. Racine, E., Bell, E., Di Pietro, N., Wade, L., Illes, J. Evidence-based neuroethics for neurodevelopmental disorders. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, http://www.sempedneurjnl.com/current.
58. Illes, J., Reimer, J., Kwon, B. Stem cell clinical trials for spinal cord injury: Readiness, reluctance, redefinition. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 2011, 1-9, DOI 10.100/512015-011-9259-1.
59. Illes, J. Deep brain stimulation: Paradoxes and a plea, American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience, in press.
60. Valerio, J. and Illes, J. Ethical implications of neuroimaging in sports concussion. Journal of Head Trauma Research, 2011, Sept 2.
61. Kehagia, A.A., Tairyan, K., Federico, C.A., Glover, G.H., Illes, J. More education, less administration: Reflections of neuroimagers’ attitudes to ethics through the qualitative looking glass. Journal of Science and Engineering Ethics, DOI:10.1007/s11948-011-9282-2.
62. Robillard, J.M., Federico, C.A., Tairyan, K., Ivinson, A.J., Illes, J. Untapped ethical resources for neurodegeneration research. BMC Medical Ethics 2011, 12:9.

Edited Journals:
1. Illes, J. and Racine, E. (Eds.) Neuroethics: From Neurotechnology to Healthcare, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Spring 2007.
2. Illes, J. (Ed.) Minimally Conscious States, Imaging and Ethics, AJOB-Neuroscience, Special Issue on Minimally Conscious States. Fall 2008.
3. Illes, J. and Pierce, K.R. (Eds.) Journal of Accountability in Research, Special Issue on Neuroethics. Fall 2008.

Edited Books:
1. Illes, J. (Ed.) Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006. (Reviewed in: The Lancet, Neurology, March 2006; Brain, July 2006; Psychological Medicine, March 2007).
2. Illes, J. (Ed.) Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy [Japanese translation], Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006.
3. Illes, J. and Sahakian, B. (Eds.) Handbook of Neuroethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011.
4. Carter, A., Hall, W., Illes, J. (Eds.) Addiction Neuroethics, Elsevier Press, San Diego, Forthcoming 2011.

1. Illes, J. Neuroethics: In, J. Illes (Ed.) Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006:ix-xvi.
2. Illes, J. Neuroethics: In, J. Illes (Ed.) Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy [Japanese translation]. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006:ix-xvi.
3. Illes, J., Racine, E., Kirschen, M.P. A picture is worth 1000 words, but which 1000? In: J. Illes (Ed.) Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006:149-168 (also translated in Japanese).
4. Racine, E., Illes, J. “Emergentism” at the crossroads of philosophy, neurotechnology, and the enhancement debate. In: J. Bickle (Ed.) Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press. In press.
5. Racine, E., Illes, J. Neuroethics for clinicians: Ethical challenges of directly marketed frontier neurotechnology. In: P. Singer (Ed.) Bioethics for Clinicians, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2008.
6. Illes, J., Kirschen, M.P. Incidental neuroradiological findings. Encyclopedia of Imaging. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. In press.
7. Illes, J. Global partnerships in neuroethics. In: J. Illes (Ed.) Introduction Neuroethics: Defining the field in theory, practice and policy [Japanese translation]. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2006.
8. Illes, J. Medicine, neuroscience, ethics and society: The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, University of Utah Press, 2008.
9. Illes, J. Vicissitudes of imaging, imprisonment, and intentionality. In: R. Brownsword & K Yeung (Eds.). Regulating Technologies: Legal Futures, Regulatory Frames and Technological Fixes. Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland, Oregon. 2008.
10. Racine, E., Bell, E., Illes, J. Can we read minds? Ethical challenges and responsibilities in the use of neuroimaging research. In: Giordano and Gordijn (Eds.). Neuroethics: Scientific, Philosophical, and Ethical Perspectives. Cambridge University Press 2010.
11. Racine, E. and Illes, J. Emergentism at the crossroads of philosophy, neurotechnology, and the enhancement debate. In John Bickle (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience, 2009:431-453.
12. Ford, P., Jacova, C., Singh, I., Illes, J. Being and thinking. In T. Kushner (Ed.) Patient’s Survival Manual. Cambridge University Press. 2010.
13. Buchman, D.Z., Lombera, S., Tairyan, K., Venkatachary, R., Illes, J. Integrating neuroethics in medical education: From trainee to practitioner. In E. Slingerland and M. Collard (Eds.), Integrating Sciences and the Humanities. Oxford University Press. In Press.
14. Federico, C., Illes, J., Lombera, S. Intersecting complexities in neuroimaging and neuroethics, In J. Illes, and B.J. Sahakian, (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2011:377-387.
15. Borgelt, E., Buchman, D.Z., Illes, J. Practitioners’ Views on Neuroimaging: Mental health, patient consent, and choice. In: Edwards, S.J.L., Richmond, S. and Rees, G. (Eds) I know what you are thinking: Brain imaging and mental privacy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (Chapter 18). In press.
16. Robillard, J. and Illes, J. The image and diction of addiction. In: A. Carter, W. Hall and J. Illes (Eds.) Addiction Neuroethics, Elsevier Press, San Diego, forthcoming 2011.

Awards & Recognition:


  • Research Fellowship. Medical Research Council of Canada, September 1982 – August 1983.
  • Research Fellowship. Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, January 1985 – September 1985.
  • Fellowship. Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, October 1985– September 1986.
  • Founding Fellow. Institute of Mental Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, October 2007.


  • Women in Neuroscience, October 2004.
  • Women of Distinction Award Nominee, YWCA, June 2009
  • Mentoring Award Nominee, Nature, June 2010.
  • Louise Hanson Marshall Special Recognition Award, Society for Neuroscience, 2011.