Petrie-Flom Welcomes New Precision Medicine Fellow! image

Petrie-Flom Center, August 16, 2018


Learn More about Sara!

We are excited to announce that Sara Gerke is joining the Petrie-Flom Center's Project on Precision Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, and Law (PMAIL) as our Precision Medicine Fellow. As the Fellow, Sara will undertake the day-to-day work of the Center’s component of this collaborative project that focuses on a comparative analysis of the law and ethics of black-box precision medicine in the US and the EU.

“Sara brings a thoughtful and fresh perspective to our work on PMAIL,” said I. Glenn Cohen, Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center. “Her background in European health law will complement the comparative work already being done at the Center on artificial intelligence in health.”

Before joining the Petrie-Flom Center, Sara was employed as General Manager of the Institute for German, European and International Medical Law, Public Health Law and Bioethics of the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim (IMGB) in Germany. She was also the CoInvestigator of an interdisciplinary project, known as “ClinhiPS”, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funds: 657,678.00 EUR; term: April 2016 to March 2018). This project analyzed the clinical application of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) in Germany and Austria from a scientific, ethical and comparative legal perspective.

“Sara has a clear enthusiasm for the types of questions PMAIL seeks to answer,” said Carmel Shachar, Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center. “Her previous experience with the ethics and law around in vitro gametogenesis and stem cells shows a passion for working at the intersection of ethics, law, and science.”

Sara was performing her tasks at the IMGB while writing her doctoral thesis in the field of stem cell research at the University of Mannheim, Germany, under the supervision of Professor Dr. Jochen Taupitz. Her thesis focuses on the legal framework for bringing stem cell research to clinical application within the EU, particularly with regard to German and UK law. Sara expects her doctorate to be officially awarded in late 2018 or early 2019. Sara graduated in law from the University of Augsburg, Germany, in July 2012 with distinction-level results in her First State Examination. She also holds a Master’s degree in Medical Ethics and Law from King’s College London (December 2013).

PMAIL was launched in early 2018 by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) at the University of Copenhagen. It seeks to better understand the frontiers of big data in health care diagnostics, through interdisciplinary analysis of important health law and policy issues. The PMAIL team, including Sara, will focus their efforts on reviewing biomedical literature in order to get a basic understanding of the most important technologies for the development of precision medicine; investigating the landscape of intellectual property incentives commonly used to support the development of the technology that is most relevant to precision medicine; analyzing the implications of recent intellectual property case law in the US and the E.U. on “black box” personalized medicine; assessing and evaluating the nature, source(s), and extent of the incentive gap for developing precision medicine and the feasibility, efficacy, and lawfulness of proposed legal policy solutions.

PMAIL is supported by a Novo Nordisk Foundation-grant for a Collaborative Research Programme (grant agreement number NNF17SA027784).

Please join us in welcoming Sara!

ai bioethics biotechnology genetics health law policy international precision medicine regulation research sara gerke