Executive Committee

Michael KalichmanDavid HigginsNancy L. Vaughan

Michael Kalichman, Ph.D.

Dr. Kalichman is a co-founder and director of the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology, serving as director since 2004.

Kalichman, trained in engineering and neuropharmacology, has taught research ethics for over 25 years. He is founding director of the UC San Diego Research Ethics Program (1997), the San Diego Research Ethics Consortium (2006), and the Ethics Service (2010) for the NIH CTSA-funded UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Kalichman has taught train-the-trainer, research ethics workshops throughout the U.S. as well as Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. With support from the Office of Research Integrity, he created one of the first online resources for the teaching of research ethics, Resources for Research Ethics Education (1999). He leads NIH- and NSF-funded research on goals, content, and methods for teaching research ethics.  Internationally, he has had lead roles with representatives of Korea, Taiwan, China, and Japan in setting national research ethics agendas, and is now helping to establish an Asia and Pacific Rim research integrity network.

Director, Center for Ethics in Science and Technology
c/o Research Ethics Program, 0612
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0612



David Higgins, Ph.D.

David Higgins, Ph.D. has been a founding member of the Ethics Center Executive Committee since 2011.

He has a professional background in biotechnology research, project management, and business development. He is currently a member of Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee, the governing board for California’s stem cell research agency. He has held positions at Invitrogen, Chiron, Idun Pharmaceuticals and was Executive VP for Business Development and Head of US Operations for BioMedica, Inc., a UK-based gene therapy company. Higgins has served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at SDSU and as an Instructor in the biotech technician training program at SD City College. Higgins has volunteered for various community-oriented organizations including Positive Prevention, Rolling Readers, SD Museum of Natural History, the North Park Community Association, and Water Station. He served as foreman of the 2006/2007 San Diego County Grand Jury. Currently he is a Scientific Advisor for iDiverse, a SD biotech company, serves on the steering committee of the MLK All People’s Breakfast, and is the former President of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Higgins earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Rochester followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.


Nancy L. Vaughan, J.D.

Nancy Vaughan has been a member of the Ethics Center Advisory Board since 2005 and is a founding member of the Executive Committee since 2011.

Nancy Vaughan, Esq. is a former Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith. As an attorney, she specialized in all aspects of healthcare law including: Medical malpractice cases, Medical product/ device cases, Elder law, Employment law, California Medical Board cases.

She has taught Bioethics at California Western School of Law, where she is an adjunct faculty member. In addition to her work as a Master of the Bench with the American Inns of Court, she lectured and published numerous articles in the area of civil litigation. She participated as a lecturer in their Masters at Trial program, was a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Humane Society, and is licensed to fly helicopters and single engine aircraft.