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Alessandra Colaianni, M.D.


Originally from Lake Forest, Illinois, Dr. Alessandra Colaianni is a graduate of Duke University, where she received degrees in biology and philosophy. She attended medical school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and concurrently completed an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, where her work focused on historical and sociological factors contributing to the culture surrounding end-of-life care in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

She has published several articles examining the influence of institutional culture on Do-Not-Resuscitate decision-making as well as moral distress regarding futile treatments at the end of life amongst medical trainees. Her research interests include medical/surgical ethics, the history and philosophy of science, and the concept of narrative medicine and how medical storytelling can be used to benefit physicians and patients.

For more information on Dr. Colaianni, check out her Google Scholar page.


Undergraduate School
Duke University (Biology and Philosophy)

Medical School
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Moral distress amongst American physician trainees regarding futile treatments at the end of life: A qualitative study. Dzeng E, Colaianni A, Roland M, Levine D, Barclay S, Smith TJ. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2016 Jan. 31(1):93-9.

Injuries caused by explosion of electronic cigarette devices. Colaianni CA, Tapias LF, Cauley R, Sheridan R, Schulz JT, Goverman J. Eplasty. 2016. 16, ic9.

Influence of institutional culture and policies on do-not-resuscitate decision making at the end of life. Dzeng E, Colaianni A, Roland M, Chander G, Smith TJ, Kelly MP, Barclay S, Levine D. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May. 175(5):812-9.
PMID: 25845020.

Up for yes. Colaianni A. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Nov. 29(11):1563-4.
PMID: 24859916.

The language of medicine. Colaianni A. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Jul 17. 157(2):146-7.
PMID: 22801679.

A long shadow: Nazi doctors, moral vulnerability and contemporary medical culture. Colaianni A. J Med Ethics. 2012 Jul. 38(7):435-8. Epub 2012 May 3.
PMID: 22556311.

Impact of gene patents and licensing practices on access to genetic testing and carrier screening for Tay-Sachs and Canavan disease. Colaianni A, Chandrasekharan S, Cook-Deegan R. Genet Med. 2010 Apr. 12(4 Suppl):S5-S14.
PMID: 20393311.

Columbia University's axel patents: Technology transfer and implications for the Bayh-Dole Act. Colaianni A, Cook-Deegan R. Milbank Q. 2009 Sep. 87(3):683-715.
PMID: 19751286.

The perils of taking property too far. Stanf J Law Sci Policy. Heaney C, Carbone J, Gold R, Bubela T, Holman CM, Colaianni A, Lewis T, Cook-Deegan R. 2009 May. 1:46-64.
PMID: 20628480.