Friday, March 13, 2009
The Temple University's Beasley School of Law website reports on the great news:
Temple University 's Beasley School of Law has been selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to manage a new $19 million national program that will fund interdisciplinary research exploring legal and regulatory solutions to pressing health challenges such as chronic diseases, and health emergencies including floods, bioterrorism and epidemics.
The Public Health Law Research program will operate under the direction of Temple Law professor Scott Burris, an internationally recognized authority on how law influences public health.
"The Public Health Law Research program brings long-needed funding and attention to the crucial role of law in public health," said Burris, who also co-directs Temple Law's new Center for Health Policy, Law and Practice. "Law can be a powerful tool for improving public health. Laws have contributed to reductions in smoking and they have increased use of seat belts." But, he explained, laws and law enforcement practices can also endanger health. . . .
A Temple Law faculty member since 1991, Burris is one of the founders of modern public health law and a pioneer in the use of empirical research in the discipline. He published the first law review article detailing the public health law issues raised by HIV/AIDS and led the effort to create the first comprehensive legal analysis of the epidemic. His work has been funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. He is currently working with the United Nations to reduce policy barriers to the treatment of pain and drug dependency.
Burris is also a senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he is associate director of the Center for Law and the Public's Health. Before joining the Temple Law faculty, Burris worked for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, where he represented people with HIV in cases addressing discrimination, privacy, and access to care in prison. He has played a leading role in developing privacy and confidentiality legislation in Pennsylvania. . . .