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UH Law Center Professor Jessica Roberts selected for prestigious Greenwall Foundation bioethics program. 

Health law scholar’s three-year project will explore privacy issues and question of who owns genetic research information

Jessica Roberts

June 17, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center Professor Jessica L. Roberts has been named a Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar in Bioethics, the second faculty member to be selected for this prestigious research program in recent years.

“I am thrilled for this unique opportunity to make my work available to wider audiences and to engage with the medical, research, and bioethical communities,” Roberts said.

“Congratulations to Professor Roberts for shining a light of academic excellence on the Law Center,” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “It is a well-deserved honor.”

Established in 1949, the Greenwall Foundation website describes the interdisciplinary research program:  “The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics is a career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research.  Each year three Greenwall Faculty Scholars are selected to receive 50 percent salary support for three years to enable them to develop their research program. (The program) supports research that goes beyond current work in bioethics to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical care, biomedical research, and public policy. ”

“My project will explore ownership interests in genetic information,” Roberts explained. “I hope my research will provide clarity to a notoriously muddled area of the law and in so doing avoid possible feelings of exploitation by research subjects and their families.”

Barbara Evans, George Butler Research Professor and director of the Center on Biotechnology & Law at UHLC, was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar in Bioethics in 2010. She noted that it is very rare for more than one faculty member from an academic institution, especially a law school, to win the award.

Roberts, who earned her B.A. in political science from the University of Southern California in 2002 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2006, joined the Law Center faculty in 2010.  She teaches Contracts, Disabilities and the Law, Genetics and the Law, and Foundational Issues in Health Law.

Roberts is director of the Law Center’s Health Law & Policy Institute, which is consistently ranked in the Top 10 by U.S. News & World Report in its annual survey of health law professors.

Click here for more information about the Greenwall Foundation.  

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