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KUDOS! Professor Matthew Herder assumes the role of Health Law Institute Director

Posted by Jane Doucet on February 27, 2017 in News
(Photo: Rachael Kelly)
(Photo: Rachael Kelly)

On Feb. 17, Professor Matthew Herder assumed the role of Director of the Health Law Institute (HLI) for a term ending in December 2019. An Associate Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie with a cross-appointment in Law, 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. Before arriving at Dalhousie, he taught Bioethics and Intellectual Property Law at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law.

Herder earned an LLB at Dalhousie in 2003 and an LLM here in 2006, then a Master of the Science of the Law (JSM) from Stanford Law School in 2007. He is looking forward to building on the HLI’s existing strengths of researching, teaching, and contributing to community service and public policy processes.

“My goals are to enhance and grow the HLI’s research capacity, which means making it the ‘Health Law hub’ of choice in Canada for JD students, graduate students, and visiting scholars and fellows,” says Herder. “If you’re interested in Health Law, this is where you want to be.”

“My goals are to enhance and grow the HLI’s research capacity, which means making it the ‘Health Law hub’ of choice in Canada for JD students, graduate students, and visiting scholars and fellows." — Professor Matthew Herder

Herder’s research interests cluster around biomedical innovation policy, with a particular focus on pharmaceutical drugs. He is the Principal Investigator on a research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and frequently appears before parliamentary committees and policymakers regarding issues of drug regulation.

“The Health Law Institute has built an excellent reputation for its research, teaching, and policy expertise,” says Schulich School of Law Dean Camille Cameron. “I am sure that under Matthew’s leadership it will continue to grow and to attract students, scholars, and policymakers who are keen to engage with, shape, and change Health Law and policy.”

Part of Herder’s strategic plan for the HLI is to deepen interdisciplinary connections locally, national, and globally. He also intends to continue the HLI’s tradition of focusing on current policy issues, such as making sure that patients are fully informed about the pros and cons of the medications they’re taking.

“We have all sorts of different tools as legally trained advocates, from writing and talking to the public through the media to going to court or working with NGOs,” says Herder. He also wants to create new relationships with key global institutions like the World Health Organization.

“At the HLI, we do exciting work directed by smart strategic goals that serve social justice while responding to live issues that matter,” says Herder. “That sets us apart – our ability to be both nimble and influential, and to balance our work with excitement and purpose.”