Aasim Padela

Dr. Aasim Padela

Aasim Padela


Disclaimer: the work linked below reflects the view of the author and does not necessarily reflect the view of ISPU.

Dr. Aasim Padela is an internationally-recognized thought and research leader in the fields of Muslim health disparities and Islamic Bioethics. In addition to leading the Initiative on Islam and Medicine, he maintains an active clinical, research, and clinical ethics practice at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Padela holds an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and received an MSc in Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the University of Rochester, and clinical medical ethics training at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic from the University of Rochester, and has studied Islamic theology and law in seminary and academic settings nationally and abroad.

As a scholar, Dr. Padela’s focus is on the intersections of healthcare, bioethics, and religion. Overall, his scholarship aims at improving health and healthcare through better accommodating religious values in healthcare delivery. Using Muslim Americans and Islam as a model, he studies how (i) religion impacts patient health behaviors and healthcare experiences, (ii) informs the professional identities and workplace experiences of clinicians, and (iii) furnishes bioethical guidance to patients, providers, policy-makers, and religious leaders. This knowledge is subsequently mobilized towards educational and policy interventions. His projects cover critical issues related to cancer screening, organ donation, end-of-life care, and the intersection of religion and science. This work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, the American Cancer Society, the Health Research and Services Administration, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Greenwall Foundation, the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding, and other foundations. In 2022, Dr. Padela was named to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s advisory panel on  Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research for a three-year term.

As a scholar and thought-leader, he has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and three forthcoming books on Islam and Biomedicine and Ethics. He has also delivered dozens of keynote lectures and seminars across the globe, and has consulted with religious and health authorities on topics related to policy and ethics. Critically, his work and expert commentary has been featured in multiple leading media outlets including the New York TimesUSA Today, the Chicago TribuneWashington PostNational Public Radio, BBC, and CNN.  As a service to the profession, he holds editorial positions for the Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, the American Journal of BioethicsBMC Medical Ethics, Global Bioethics, the International Journal of Islam, BETIM Journal of Medical Humanities, and TAHFIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World.


MS, Healthcare Research, University of Michigan; MD, Weill Cornell Medical College; BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester; BA, Classical Arabic & Literature, University of Rochester

Areas of Expertise

  1. Community-Based Health Research
  2. Diversity and Inclusion in Healthcare
  3. Islamic Law and Bioethics

Words of Wisdom

Dr. Padela appeared on a ISPU’s weekly video series Wisdom Wednesday to share reflections on the intersection of religious practice and the ethics of healthcare provision in the COVID-19 era.


Other Scholarly Work

Stephen Hall, Aasim I. Padela. “Engaging Muslim Americans for Research on Community Health: Lessons Learned from a PCOR Capacity-Building Program.” Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action (2021).

“Being demonised has not stopped American Muslims’ impressive rise.” Aasim Padela interviewed for 9/11 20th anniversary piece in The Economist.

Aasim I. Padela, Elizabeth A. Samuels, Lilla Orr, et al. “Health Care Utilization Before and After the “Muslim Ban” Executive Order Among People Born in Muslim-Majority Countries and Living in the US.” JAMA Network Open (2021).

Padela, A.I., A. Qatanani, and M. Umar. “Bioethical insights from the Fiqh Council of North America’s recent ruling on medical cannabis.” International Journal of Drug Policy 97 (2021).

Padela, A.I., M. Ali, and A. Yusuf. “Aligning Medical and Muslim Morality: An Islamic Bioethical Approach to Applying and Rationing Life Sustaining Ventilators in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era.” Journal of Islamic Ethics 5 (2021): 1-36.

S. Popal, S. Hall, and A. I. Padela. “Muslim American physicians’ views on brain death: Findings from a national survey.” Avicenna Journal of Medicine 11 no. 2 (2021): 63–69. 

Padela, A. I. 2020. “Commentary: Religious communities are critical in the fight against COVID-19″ Chicago Tribune Article.

Padela, A. I., R. Duivenbode, M. Quinn, and M. Saunders. 2020. Informing American Muslims about Living Donation Through Tailored Health Education: A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Trial Evaluating Increase in Biomedical and Religious Knowledge. American Journal of Transplantation.

Padela, A. I. 2019. Producing Motherhood? Uterus Transplantation for Infertility. Global Currents Article.

Padela, A. I. and O. Qureshi. 2017.  Islamic perspectives on clinical intervention near the end-of-life: We can but must we? 20: 545-559. Medicine, Health and Philosophy.

Padela, A. I. 2017. Social Responsibility and the State’s Duty to provide Healthcare: An Islamic Ethico-Legal Perspective. Developing World Bioethics, 17: 205-214

Aasim I. Padela, Huda Adam, Maha Ahmad, Zahra Hosseinian & Farr Curlin (2016) Religious identity and workplace discrimination: A national survey of American Muslim physicians, AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 7:3, 149-159, DOI: 10.1080/23294515.2015.1111271

A. I. Padela, H. Adam, M. Ahmad, Z. Hosseinain, and F. Curlin, “Religious Identity and Workplace Discrimination: A National Survey of American Muslim Physicians,” AJOB Empirical Bioethics 7, no. 3 (2016): 149–59.

U. Ezenkwele, G. S. Roodsari, and A. I. Padela, “Religio-cultural Considerations When Providing Health Care to American Muslims,” in Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care, eds. M. L. Martin, S. L. Heron, L. Moreno-Walton, and A. W. Jones (Springer International, 2016).

A. Killawi, M. Heisler, H. Hamid, and A. I. Padela, “Using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) for Health Research in American Muslim Mosque Communities,” Progress in Community Health Partnerships 9, no. 1 (2015): 65–74.

Padela, A. I. H. Din, S. Malik, S. Hall and M. Quinn. 2019. Changing mammography-related barrier and facilitator beliefs among American Muslim women: Findings from a religiously-tailored mosque-based intervention. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 21:1325-1333

A. I. Padela and F. Curlin, “Religion and Disparities: Considering the Influences of Islam on the Health of American Muslims,” Journal of Religion and Health 52, no. 4 (2013): 1333–45.

A. I. Padela, “Islamic Verdicts in Health Policy Discourse: Porcine-based Vaccines as a Case Study,” Zygon 48, no. 3 (2013): 655–70.

Duivenbode, R. and A. I. Padela. The Problem of Female Genital Cutting: Bridging Secular and Islamic Bioethical Perspectives. Perspectives on Biology and Medicine. 62:273-300.

A. I. Padela and M. Heisler, “The Association of Perceived Abuse and Discrimination After September 11, 2001, With Psychological Distress, Level of Happiness, and Health Status Among Arab Americans,” American Journal of Public Health 100, no. 2 (2010): 284–91.

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