Cohen and Roin named co-directors of Petrie-Flom Center at HLS

Assistant Professors of Law I. Glenn Cohen ’03 and Benjamin Roin ’05 are the new co-directors of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. Professor Einer Elhauge ’86, who has served as faculty director since the Center’s founding in 2005, will remain associated with the research program as its Founding Director.

“With these creative and meticulous scholars at the helm of the Petrie-Flom Center, Harvard Law School and the entire world of law at the crossroads of health and health care are indeed fortunate,” said HLS Dean Martha Minow. “Health care policy, bioethics issues, and biotechnology development and regulation are central to human security, national well-being, and international development. As our nation’s leaders work to develop policies that address healthcare reform and the ethical issues surrounding scientific advancements in medicine, Glenn and Ben will build upon Einer’s superb leadership and continue to advance the Center’s important work in new and vital ways.”

The Center was founded thanks to a generous gift from Joseph H. Flom ’48 and the Petrie Foundation in order to respond to the need for leading legal scholarship in the fields of healthcare, biotechnology, and bioethics. Since its inception, the Center has become one of the nation’s leading legal institutes devoted to healthcare and bioethics, attracting some of the most prominent legal experts on these topics to HLS.

“I am delighted that the Center is in such capable hands, and that two of the Center’s former academic fellows have not only joined the Harvard Law faculty but have also become co-directors of the Center,” said Elhauge. “This is just the sort of result I hoped for when I helped found the Center – to create an institution that was self-sustaining and broad-based in this way. I look forward to many years of debating and analyzing health policy issues with Ben and Glenn.”

Professor I. Glenn Cohen '03

Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03

Cohen and Roin both joined the Petrie-Flom Center as “inaugural” academic fellows in 2006. They were appointed assistant professors in 2008.

“I feel incredibly honored to be taking over, with Ben, what is becoming the premiere center for academic thinking about these subjects at a leading law school,” said Cohen (at left). “Having been with the center (first as a fellow then as a faculty member) since almost its inception, I am extremely proud of all we have done so far, and I am excited about the amazing work we’ll be doing.”

Cohen is currently working on projects relating to reproductive technology and medical tourism. His past work has included projects on end of life decision-making, FDA regulation, research ethics, and commodification.

A 2003 graduate of HLS, Cohen received the Sears prize for the highest 1L grades and served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before joining the HLS faculty, he clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  He also served as an appellate attorney for the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, where he acted as lead counsel in over 12 Circuit Court cases and represented the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, in conjunction with the Solicitor General’s office.

Benjamin Roin ’05

Benjamin Roin ’05 (right), whose scholarship focuses on patent law and biotechnology, holds the chair.

“It is a great honor to take on the role of co-director of the Petrie-Flom Center with Glenn Cohen,” said Roin (at right). “Einer Elhauge and Anup Malani have left big shoes for us to fill, but Glenn and I will do our best to build upon their successful leadership of the Center.”

Roin, the Hieken Assistant Professor of Patent Law, works on issues involving pharmaceutical innovation, FDA regulations, and the patent system. His previous scholarship includes work on why the patent system fails to achieve one of its functions – the disclosure of patented ideas to others. Roin has multiple research interests, including patent law, trade secrecy, copyright law, trademark law, health law, food and drug law, and property law.

Roin graduated from HLS in 2005, where he earned the Sears prize and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After HLS, he clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.