I grew up in South Carolina and graduated from Davidson College and the Medical University of South Carolina, where I received my MD. I did my PhD in philosophy at Glasgow University in Scotland. Before moving to Minnesota I held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the University of Natal Medical School in South Africa (now the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu Natal.) I was also an assistant professor at McGill University in Montreal.
Much of my recent scholarship has been in two areas. The first area concerns wrongdoing in medicine, especially in the areas of clinical research and pharmaceutical marketing. The second concerns philosophical issues surrounding identity, authenticity and justice as seen through the lens of biomedical technology. I also have longstanding interests in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the novelist Walker Percy. I am currently working on a book about whistleblowing in medical research.