Student Fellow Alumna
Kourtney Baltzer’s intellectual interests lie in patent policy and biotechnology. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2009 with both BS and MS degrees in Biomedical Engineering and is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Her research project focused on patent policy relating to the improvement of patient access to genetic testing. Genetic testing can predict whether a patient will develop a particular disease years in advance, allowing a physician to prescribe certain preventative treatments. However, gene patents often create barriers to the availability of these tests. Through her research, Kourtney explored possible ways to find a balance between maximizing patient access to genetic testing while preserving the intellectual framework of our current patent laws.