Professor Wikler's current research interests are ethical issues in population and international health, including the allocation of health resources, health research involving human subjects, and ethical dilemmas arising in public health practice. His published work also addresses many issues in bioethics, including those in reproduction, transplantation, and end-of-life decision-making. His book series, Studies in Philosophy and Health Policy, was published by Cambridge University Press, as was From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, co-authored with three other philosophers.
While serving as the first Staff Ethicist for the World Health Organization, he instituted an international collaboration among philosophers and economists on ethical, methodological, and philosophical issues raised by WHO's work in measurement of the global burden of disease and in developing methods for improving health resource allocation. He remains a consultant to several WHO programs. He is co-founder and was second president of the International Association of Bioethics, and has served on the advisory boards of the Asian Bioethics Association and the Pan American Health Organization Regional Program in Bioethics.
As co-director of the Program on Ethical Issues in International Health Research at the School of Public Health, he oversees both empirical and theoretical research on ethical issues in health research, particularly issues in developing countries. The program offers fellowships for scholars in developing countries and sponsors an annual intensive for an international clientele. Versions of the course have been taught in ten developing countries. He is also co-director of a collaborative project with the PRC Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to join Chinese colleagues, including former Program fellows, in an effort to enhance the China's capacity for ethical review of health research. A frequent lecturer on ethics and health in the PRC and Hong Kong, Professor Wikler holds honorary appointments at two Beijing research institutions.
Professor Wikler is a core faculty member in the Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health and participates in faculty research and curriculum development groups on such issues as disparities in health status and the impact of corruption and fraud on public health. He also serves on the faculty of the Harvard Ph.D. Program in Health Policy.
Professor Wikler was a Faculty Fellow in Ethics in 1994-1995, and has been a Faculty Associate of the Ethics Center since 2002.