Sabrina Derrington

Sabrina Derrington, MD, MA, HEC-C

Director of Research Ethics


As a bioethicist, Dr. Derrington focuses on the moral aspects of medicine and the health sciences, including the ethical dilemmas that may arise in designing, conducting, analyzing, and disseminating clinical and translational research. She teaches the fundamentals of research ethics to participants in the Mentored Career Development in Clinical Translational Science (MCD-CTS/KL2) training program. Also, she directs the Research Ethics Forum, bringing experts in research ethics to USC to speak on timely topics. Finally, she provides consultation to help investigators, research team members, and clinicians anticipate, identify, and respond to relevant ethical issues and adopt and share best practices.

Contact Information
(323) 361-4874

Professional Background

Dr. Derrington earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hillsdale College (Summa Cum Laude), a medical degree from University of California Davis School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha), and a master’s degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University Chicago. She completed her internship, pediatric residency and pediatric critical care fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. After 2 years as an attending physician for the Comfort and Palliative Care Team at CHLA, Dr. Derrington was recruited to join the faculty at Northwestern University and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she practiced critical care and palliative care, and eventually became the Associate Director of Clinical Ethics and Education. She returned in January 2021 as the inaugural director of the CHLA Center for Bioethics, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, and an attending physician in Critical Care Medicine at CHLA. Her research focuses on health equity concerns in the context of pediatric critical illness, communication and decision-making, and genomics. Dr. Derrington sits on USC’s Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee and the CHLA Conflict of Interest in Research Committee, and is a member of the Clinical Research Ethics Collaborative. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the Ethics Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.


She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, cooking, gardening, and hiking. She loves poetry, music, and yoga.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.