2009 Sabbatical Fellowship


Karen H. Rothenberg
We are pleased to announce that Karen H. Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A., will be joining the Center for the Study of Law and Culture on Sabbatical Fellowship for the 2009-2010 academic year.  Her work with the Center will include studying the use of theatre as an innovative tool to identify and encourage discussion of the unique ethical, legal and social issues posed by emerging technologies in health care.

Professor Rothenberg is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law, founding Director of the Law & Health Care Program, and served as Dean of the University of Maryland School of Law from 1999-2009. This year, she will also be a Visiting Professor at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at John Hopkins University.

Professor Rothenberg is a leading national expert on legal issues in health care. Over the last decade she has focused her research primarily on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic testing and research, including the legislative approaches to genetic information in the health insurance and employment context, the impact of genetic research on racial and ethnic populations and women’s health care, and the use of genetic information in the courtroom. Professor Rothenberg is co-editor of the book Women and Prenatal Testing: Facing the Challenges of Genetic Technology and co-author of five articles on genetics and public policy that have been published in the journal Science, the most recent of which is “Judging Genes: When Should Judges Admit or Compel Genetic Tests?” Her scholarship also includes articles on health insurance, privacy, the role of gender in health care, AIDS, research ethics, the right to forego treatment, emergency care, and new reproductive technologies. She has testified before federal and state legislatures on a wide range of issues, including the U.S. House of Representatives’ Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007. Professor Rothenberg is Chair of the Maryland Stem Cell Commission and will serve as a co-Chair of the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit.

Professor Rothenberg was the first woman to serve as chief executive and academic officer of the University of Maryland School of Law in its 185-year history. Under her leadership, the School of Law opened a new, state-of-the-art academic facility, strengthened its national stature in legal areas including health care, the environment and clinical education, and ascended into the top tier of law schools. She oversaw the creation of numerous programs – in areas including business law, intellectual property law, international law, and women’s leadership – and launched the innovative “Linking Law & the Arts” initiative, which uses theatre and art to help address complex legal issues and further public understanding of the law.

Professor Rothenberg is a past president of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics and former co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. During sabbaticals from the law school, she has worked at NIH in the Office of Research on Women’s Health, the National Institute for Child Health & Human Development, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. She has also served as a member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, the National Action Plan for Breast Cancer, and on numerous NIH panels on prenatal care, the recruitment and retention of women in clinical studies, and the ethical, legal and social implications of genetics.

Before joining the Maryland Law faculty, Professor Rothenberg practiced with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington and Burling and has worked with a variety of health and medical organizations. A member of the American Law Institute, Professor Rothenberg received Equal Justice Works’ 2007 Dean John R. Kramer Award in recognition of her national prominence in promoting public service in legal education. In the same year she was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, and named to the Daily Record’s inaugural group of “50 Most Influential Marylanders.” Professor Rothenberg was the 1996 recipient of the Joseph Healey Health Law Teachers Award presented by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women three times by the Daily Record, she earned induction into the publication’s Circle of Excellence in 2008.

She received both a B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Princeton University and an M.P.A. from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.