Matthew Herder

Professor of Law and Medicine; Director, Health Justice Institute

Phone: 902-494-2567
Mailing Address: 
Room 329, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Health law and policy
  • Law and technology
  • Health care policy
  • Health care regulation
  • Health law
  • Intellectual property
  • Law and society


  • BSc (Hons) (Memorial)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • LLM (Dalhousie)
  • JSM (Stanford)

Bar admissions

Ontario, 2004


Professor Herder teaches primarily in the Faculty of Medicine, across the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculums, on a variety of health law topics, including informed consent, patient-physician confidentiality, and regulation of the medical profession. Prior to arriving at Dalhousie, he taught in the areas of bioethics and intellectual property law at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law.

  • LAWS 2319 (and PHAC 6319): Pharmaceutical Science, Law and Policy

Areas of supervision:

Intellectual property law and policy, especially patents; research commercialization; regulation of pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices; biotechnology

Research interests

Professor Herder’s research interests cluster around biomedical innovation policy, with particular focus on intellectual property law and practices connected to the commercialization of scientific research. As part of a three-year research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Professor Herder (Principal Investigator) and a team of interdisciplinary researchers are currently collecting empirical evidence about the inter-relationships between commercialization laws, policies, and practices and emerging health researchers. The team will use the collected empirical evidence to explore a series of normative questions about the ongoing commercialization of academic science.

Selected awards & honours

  • 2009 - 2010: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legal Research Fellow, New York University School of Law

Selected publications

  • Matthew Herder "What Is the Purpose of the Orphan Drug Act?" (2017) PLoS Med 14(1): e1002191. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002191
  • Matthew Herder “Denaturalizing transparency in drug regulation” 2015 82 McGill Journal of Law and Health S57-S144. 
  • Matthew Herder “Toward a jurisprudence of drug regulation” 2014 422 Journal of Law and Medical Ethics 244–62.
  • Matthew Herder, Elaine Gibson, Janice Graham, Joel Lexchin and Barbara Mintzes “Regulating prescription drugs for patient safety: does Bill C-17 go far enough?” 2014 13:1868 Canadian Medical Association Journal E287–292.