Dickinson law professor named health law scholar

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CARLISLE, Pa. — Sara Gerke, assistant professor of law, has been named the 2021 Health Law Fellow by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and the Law School’s Center for Health Law Studies from Saint Louis University.

Each year, a nominating committee selects four health law scholars through a competitive process that seeks work in development by junior scholars with an original thesis and who will contribute to the scientific literature. The researchers present their work at the Health Law Scholars Workshop held in the fall in St. Louis, Missouri. The workshop is sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and Saint Louis University School of Law.

“As an emerging scholar in the critical and evolving field of health law, Professor Gerke is well deserving of this recognition,” said Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Legal Skills Amy C. Gaudion. “I am thrilled to see her work and the distinctive perspective she offers recognized in the field, and I look forward to seeing how her research will impact artificial intelligence in health law.

Senior health law scholars from law schools across the country participate in the workshop and offer feedback, support, and advice on the ongoing work of health law scholars. Gerke will present his paper “Unique Labeling Challenges for Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Based Medical Devices”.

Gerke’s current research focuses on the ethical and legal challenges of artificial intelligence and big data for health care and health law in the United States and Europe. “I focused my work on AI in healthcare because I strongly believe that digital technologies have enormous potential to transform medicine for the better,” Gerke said. “But we’re not there yet, and I hope my work will help realize the potential of AI and ensure that AI-based products are safe and effective and will benefit all among us, especially the most vulnerable population groups.

As one of Dickinson Law’s newest tenure-track faculty members, Gerke previously served as a research fellow in medicine, artificial intelligence, and law at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Harvard Law School Project on Precision Medicine Bioethics, Artificial Intelligence, and Law. In this role, she oversaw the day-to-day work of the center component of this collaborative project, including conducting research on law, policy and ethics; writing reports and recommendations; and coordinate the center’s efforts with collaborators from the Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law at the University of Copenhagen as well as with other partners. Prior to joining the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Gerke was Managing Director of the Institute for German, European and International Medical Law, Public Health Law and Bioethics at the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Gerke’s work has appeared in places such as JAMA, Science, Nature Medicine, npj Digital Medicine, Nature Machine Intelligence, Nature Electronics, Nature Biotechnology, The Lancet Digital Health, Annual Reviews of Genomics and Human Genetics, Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Elsevier, Springer and Hastings Center Report.

Gerke received his law degree from the University of Augsburg and a master’s degree in medical ethics and law from King’s College London. She teaches courses on torts, health law, bioethics and related topics.

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