Shawna Benston

Roles and Responsibilities

Shawna Benston is the Associate Director for Research Compliance Education. Her work focuses on creating educational programs on research compliance and research ethics for the Columbia research community, including faculty and staff, students, and post-doctoral research fellows.


Before joining the Office of Research Compliance and Training, Ms. Benston was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University's Center for Excellence in ELSI Research, where she focused on the ethical and policy implications of gene-editing technologies. She has a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a Masters of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Classics from the University of St Andrews, and a B.A. from Yale University. Her scholarship has utilized case law and bioethical reasoning to explore dilemmas of patient agency at the beginning and end of life. She has taught courses on narrative medicine, bioethics mediation, and end-of-life ethics at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics Summer Institute.