Kyle Brothers, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics

Endowed Chair of Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research
Chief Scientific Officer, Norton Children's Research Institute

Academic Phone Number: 502-588-0797 Email Address:


Dr. Brothers is a pediatrician and bioethicist who conducts research on ethical issues in the translation of genomic technologies to clinical practice. He is a practicing primary care pediatrician and serves as a clinical ethics consultant at Norton Children's Hospital. He received his MD from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency training and chief residency in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, and his PhD in Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University.

Research Interests:

  • Research on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomic technologies
  • Clinical ethics and research ethics, with a focus on issues in pediatrics

Current Projects and Grants

  • National Human Genome Research Institute. “Utility of Genome Sequencing in Community Care Contexts.” 2021 to 2025. In this study, we are exploring the potential and actual utilities that children with undiagnosed genetic conditions might receive in community settings as a result of receiving a genomic diagnosis. The overall aims of this study are to identify (1) community-based utilities currently being realized following genomic diagnosis, (2) perspectives of community-based professionals regarding the potential utility of such diagnoses, and (3) sources of information (including medical professionals, parent support groups, and social media) that might support utility for rare genetic conditions.
  • National Human Genome Research Institute. “SouthSeq: DNA Sequencing for Newborn Nurseries in the South.” 2017 to 2022. The major goal of this project is to study the application of Exome Sequencing and Genome Sequencing technologies as a diagnostic tool to identify the cause of genetic conditions in newborns. This study includes a randomized clinical trial comparing return of results by a genetic counselor with return of results by neonatologists, pediatricians, and other non-genetics specialists.

Selected Publications and Manuscripts in Progress

Publications related to clinical ethics and research ethics, with a focus on issues in pediatrics:

  1. Brothers KB. Biobanking in Pediatrics: The Human Non-Subjects Approach. Personalized Medicine. 2011; 8 (1): 71-79.
  2. Brothers KB, Morrison DM, Clayton EW. Two Large Scale Surveys on Community Attitudes Toward an Opt-Out Biobank. American Journal of Medical Genetics. 2011; 155A (12): 2982-2990.
  3. Brothers KB, Clayton EW. Parental Perspectives on a Pediatric Human Non-Subjects Biobank. American Journal of Bioethics: Primary Research. 2012; 3 (3): 21-29.
  4. Brothers KB, Westbrook MJ, Wright MF, Myers JA, Morrison DR, Madison JL, Pulley JM, Clayton EW. Patient Awareness and Approval for an Opt-Out Genomic Biorepository. Personalized Medicine. 2013; 10 (4): 349-359.
  5. Brothers KB, Lynch JA, Aufox SA, Connolly JJ, Gelb BD, Holm IA, Sanderson SC, McCormick JB, Williams JL, Wolf WA, Antommaria AHM, Clayton EW. Practical Guidance on Informed Consent for Pediatric Participants in a Biorepository. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2014; 89 (11): 1471-1480.
  6. Brothers KB, Holm IA, Childerhose JE, Antommaria AHM, Bernhardt BA, Clayton EW, Gelb BD, Joffe S, Lynch JA, McCormick JB, McCullough LB, Parsons DW, Sundaresan AS, Wolf WA, Yu JH, Wilfond BS. When Participants in Genomic Research Grow Up: Contact and Consent at the Age of Majority. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2016; 168 (January): 226-231.e1.
  7. Brothers KB, Goldenberg AJ. Ethical and Legal Considerations for Pediatric Biobank Consent: Current and Future Perspectives. Personalized Medicine. 2016; 13 (6): 597-607.
  8. Sanderson SC, Brothers KB, Mercaldo ND, Clayton EW, Antommaria AHM, Aufox SA, Brilliant MH, Campos D, Carrell DS, Connolly JJ, Conway P, Fullerton SM, Garrison NA, Horowitz CR, Jarvik GP, Kaufman D, Kitchner TE, Li R, Ludman EJ, McCarty C, McCormick J, McManus V, Myers MF, Scrol A, Williams J, Schrubsole MJ, Schildcrout JS, Smith ME, Holm IA. Public attitudes towards consent and data sharing in biobank research: a large multi-site experimental survey in the US. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2016; 100 (3): 414-427.
  9. Antommaria AHM, Brothers KB, Myers JA, Feygin Y, Aufox SA, Brilliant MH, Conway P, Fullerton SM, Garrison NA, Horowitz CR, Jarvik GP, Li R, Ludman EJ, McCarty CA, McCormick JB, Mercaldo ND, Myers MF, Sanderson SC, Shrubsole MJ, Schildcrout JS, Williams JL, Smith ME, Clayton EW, Holm IA. Parents' Attitudes toward Consent and Data Sharing in Biobanks: A Multisite Experimental Survey. AJOB Empirical Bioethics. 2017; 9 (3): 128-142.
  10. Minari J, Morrison M, Brothers KB. Tensions in Ethics and Policy Created by National Precision Medicine Programs. Human Genomics. 2018; 12 (1): 1-10.
  11. Brothers KB, Wilfond BS. Research Consent at the Age of Majority: Preferable but not Obligatory. Pediatrics. 2018; 142 (2): e20173038.
  12. Brothers KB, Rivera SM, Cadigan RJ, Sharp RR, Goldenberg AJ. A Belmont Reboot: Building a Normative Foundation for Human Research in the 21st Century. The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 2019; 47 (1): 165-172.
  13. Childerhose JE, Finnila CR, Yu JH, Koenig BA, McEwen JE, Berg SL, Wilfond BS, Appelbaum PS, Brothers KB. Participant Engagement in Translational Genomic Research: Respect for Persons--and Then Some. Ethics & Human Research. 2019; 41 (5): 2-15.
  14. Bibler TM, Stahl D, Fantus S, Lion A, Brothers KB. Responding to Parents/Guardians Who Hope for a Miracle: A Process-Based Approach. Pediatrics. 2020; 145 (3): e20192319.
  15. Brothers KB, Clayton EW, Goldenberg AJ. Online Pediatric Research: Addressing Consent, Assent, and Parental Permission. Journal of Law, Medicine, & Ethics. 2020; 48 (S1): 129-137.
  16. Wagner JK, Colwell C, Claw KG, Stone AC, Bolnick DA, Hawks J, Brothers KB, Garrison NA. Fostering Responsible Research on Ancient DNA. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2020; 107 (2): 183-195.

Publications related to research on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genomic technologies:

  1. Westbrook MJ, Wright MF, Van Driest SL, McGregor TL, Denny JC, Zuvich RL, Clayton EW, Brothers KB. Mapping the Incidentalome: Estimating Incidental Findings Generated Through Clinical Pharmacogenomics Testing. Genetics in Medicine. 2012; 15 (5): 325-331.
  2. Webster THG, Beal SJ, Brothers KB. Motivation in the Age of Genomics: Why Incidental Genetic Findings of Disease Susceptibility Might Not Motivate Behavior Change. Life Sciences, Society, and Policy. 2013; 9 (8) .
  3. Brothers KB, Langanke M, Erdmann P. The Implications of the Incidentalome for Clinical Pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics. 2013; 14 (11): 1353-1362.
  4. Brothers KB, Rothstein MA. Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Incorporating Personalized Medicine into Healthcare. Personalized Medicine. 2015; 12 (1): 43-51.
  5. Brothers KB, East KM, Kelley WV, Wright MF, Westbrook MJ, Rich CA, Bowling KM, Lose EJ, Bebin EM, Simmons S, Myers JA, Barsh G, Myers RM, Cooper GM, Pulley JM, Rothstein MA, Clayton EW. Eliciting Preferences on Secondary Findings: The Preferences Instrument for Genomic Secondary Results (PIGSR). Genetics in Medicine. 2017; 19 (3): 337-344.
  6. Brothers KB, Knapp E. Case 2: How Should Primary Care Physicians Respond to Direct-to-consumer Genetic Test Results?. AMA Journal of Ethics. 2018; 20 (9): E812-818.
  7. Garrison NA, Brothers KB, Goldenberg AJ, Lynch JA. Genomic Contextualism: Shifting the Rhetoric of Genetic Exceptionalism. American Journal of Bioethics. 2018; 19 (1): 51-63.
  8. Brothers KB, Vassy JL, Green RC. Reconciling Opportunistic and Population Screening in Clinical Genomics. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2019; 94 (1): 103-109.
  9. Bombard Y, Brothers KB, Fitzgerald-Butt S, Garrison NA, Jamal L, James CA, Jarvik GP, McCormick JB, Nelson TN, Ormond KE, Rehm HL, Richer J, Souzeau E, Vassy JL, Wagner JK, Levy HP. ASHG Position Statement: The Responsibility to Recontact Research Participants After Reinterpretation of Genetic and Genomic Research Results. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2019; 104 (4): 578-595.
  10. Garrett JR, Lantos JD, Biesecker LG, Childerhose JE, Chung WK, Holm IA, Koenig BA, McEwen JE, Wilfond BS, Brothers KB. Rethinking the “Open Future” Argument against Predictive Genetic Testing. Genetics in Medicine. 2019; 21 (10): 2190-2198.
  11. Rothstein MA, Zawati MH, Beskow LM, Brelsford KM, Brothers KB, Hammack-Aviran CM, Hazel JW, Lang M, Patrinos D, Saltzman A, Knoppers BM. Legal and Ethical Challenges of International Direct-to-Participant Genomic Research: Conclusions and Recommendations. The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 2020; 47 (Winter 2019): 705-731.
  12. Lynch JA, Goldenberg AJ, Garrison NA, Brothers KB. Analogies in Genomics Policymaking: Debates and Drawbacks. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2020; 107 (5): 797-801.
  13. Brothers KB, Bennett RL, Cho MK. Taking an antiracist posture in scientific publications in human genetics and genomics. Genetics in Medicine. 2021; 23 (6): 1004-1007.


Selected Presentations

  1. Panel Presentation, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting
    Symposium/Panel Title: Ethics Debate: Bespoke Babies - Genome Editing in Cystic Fibrosis Embryos
    Presentation Title: Pro: CRISPR Technology Should Be Used to Prevent Cystic Fibrosis
    Jan 2019  San Diego, California
  2. Panel Presentation, University of Utah Frontiers in Precision Medicine Symposium
    Symposium/Panel Title: ELSI Issues in Assembling Large Cohorts for Precision Medicine
    Presentation Title: Crossing the Finish Line: Translating Precision Medicine to the Clinic
    Mar 2019  Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Symposium Lecturer, Program for Biomedical Ethics at Yale School of Medicine
    Presentation Title: The Ethics of Germline Genome Editing
    May 2019  New Haven, Connecticut
  4. Panel Discussion, American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition
    Symposium/Panel Title: Section on Bioethics and Section on Obesity Joint H-Program
    Presentation Title: Ethical Issues in the Care of Children with Obesity
    Oct 2019  New Orleans, Louisiana
  5. Policy Briefing, Georgetown University Law Center
    Presentation Title: Unregulated Health Research Using Mobile Devices: Recommendations
    Authors: Rothstein MA, Wilbanks JT, Brothers KB, Doerr M, McGowan ML
    Nov 2019  Washington, D.C.
  6. Webinar Presentation, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories Educational Program Series
    Presentation Title: Neglected Ethics in Biobanking: Addressing Issues of Sustainability, Utilization, and Stewardship
    Jul 2020
  7. Webinar Presentation, American Society of Human Genetics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series
    Presentation Title: Expanding population participation in research: Dialogue about reasons people of diverse ancestral background might or might not want to participate
    Oct 2020
  8. Panel Presentation, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities
    Symposium/Panel Title: Responding to Secondary Genetic Findings in Adolescents and Newborns: Conceptual Frameworks and Empirical Findings
    Presentation Title: Case Wrap-Up and Conclusions
    Oct 2020
  9. Panel Presentation, Advancing Ethical Research Conference, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R)
    Symposium/Panel Title: Assessing and Addressing the Ethical, Regulatory, and Governance Challenges of Networking Biorepositories
    Presentation Title: Neglected Ethical Issues in Biobanking: Utilization, Sustainability, and Stewardship
    Dec 2020
  10. Panel Presentation, Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis Friday Forum
    Symposium/Panel Title: Biobanking in the Era of COVID
    Presentation Title: Impact of COVID-19 on Biobank ELSI
    Authors: Brothers KB, Cadigan RJ, Goldenberg AJ
    Jan 2021
  11. Panel Presentation, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting
    Symposium/Panel Title: Polygenic Risk Scores: Uses and Misuses in Health, Research, and Society
    Feb 2021
  12. Workshop Presentation, International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Annual Meeting
    Presentation Title: Assessing and Addressing the Ethical and Governance Challenges of Biorepository Networks
    Authors: Brothers KB, Cadigan RJ, Goldenberg AJ
    May 2021