HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Health Law Program Updates: The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics

Health Law Prof Blog is starting a new feature to keep readers updated on some of the many changes in health law degree and certificate programs across the country over the past year or so. If you have health law degree or certificate program updates, please send them to me, Katharine Van Tassel at or, after July 30, at and I will post them for you.

Here is the next Program Update in our series: 

The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, co-directed by Professors I. Glenn Cohen and Benjamin Roin, is entering its 8th year this fall. The Center was founded in 2005 as an interdisciplinary program intended to respond to the need for leading legal scholarship in these fields. Today, we advance this mission through our faculty and fellows’ academic publications and commentary; course offerings intended to train the next generation of practitioners and scholars; and conferences, panel discussions, and lectures on current issues at the intersection of law and medicine. 

The Center has four main areas of activity. First, we  run a two-year academic fellowship program, which is mostly geared toward preparing aspiring law professors for the market, as well as a student fellowship for Harvard graduate students interested in pursuing their own independent scholarship.  Our Academic Fellows have enjoyed great success, placing in tenure-track positions at top schools including Harvard, UC Berkeley, BU, UCLA, Cornell, and the University of Arizona.  

Second, we host extensive programming each year, ranging from lunchtime panels to a major annual conference. This past year's events had a heavy focus on health care reform, but also brought together academics, policymakers, practitioners, students, and the public to discuss reproductive ethics, family law, and the first major attempt to revise the regulations governing human subjects research in over two decades.  

Third, our faculty affiliates and fellows offer courses in a range of areas broadly falling under the health law heading, including a yearly workshop in health law and policy.  This public workshop has become a premier venue for leading scholars in health law, biotechnology, and bioethics to launch, discuss, and improve their newest ideas with comments from students, faculty, and other  ttendees.   

Fourth, and finally, we support the scholarship of our prolific affiliated faculty

This summer, we welcomed a new Executive Director, Holly Fernandez Lynch, who will help the Center expand into its next phase of development, which will likely introduce new opportunities for students, a revamped and resource-heavy website for those interested in our fields, experimentation with different fellowship models and Center projects, and more programming.  On that front, we're planning a number of events for the upcoming academic year, including a major symposium on Institutional Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research Universities to be held November 2, 2012.  The world-class speaker list includes Francis CollinsEzekiel EmanuelDerek Bok, and many more.   

To keep up with what's happening at the Petrie-Flom Center, you can sign up for updates though our email list serve.  You can also find out more about what we've been up to in our newsletter, The Petrie Dish.  If you'll be in Cambridge, please let us know - we'd love to see you at one of our workshops or other events.  And we're always eager to pursue collaborations with other centers and institutions that have related missions to our own.  Be in touch!


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