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A Delicate Balance of Innovation and Access: The Future of Gene Patenting

November 1, 2013 @ 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm


A Delicate Balance of Innovation and Access: The Future of Gene Patenting after Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al.

S.J. Quinney College of Law, Moot Courtroom

Myriad_VideoSponsored by the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the Health Law Section of the Utah State Bar

In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court invalidated some but not all of the patents on two genes implicated in breast cancer. The 9-0 ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al. is the Court’s seminal statement on human gene patenting. Understanding what the decision means for the future of gene patenting is thus critical for anyone interested in the isolation of genetic variants, genetic testing, commercialization, and personalized medicine and patient care. A Delicate Balance of Innovation and Access: The Future of Gene Patenting after Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al., presented by the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, will discuss in depth the science involved in the Myriad decision, the decision’s holding, its implications for industry, and its likely impact on genetic testing in clinical care. Panelists include scientists, lawyers, genetic counselors, and patient advocates.

2.5 hours of CLE, email communications@law.utah.edu

Roundtable Participants:

Kenneth Chahine, S.J. Quinney College of Law
Professor Chahine teaches New Ventures, a first of its kind course that combines various aspects of legal and business principles in real-world settings. Students experience the legal and business aspects involved in launching a technology-based venture through a combination of classroom instruction and placement in one of three external clinics: the Technology Commercialization Office, the Lassonde Entrepreneurial Center, or the University Venture Fund. Topics include confidentiality agreements, technology valuation, due diligence, material transfer agreements, venture financing instruments, and complex technology licenses.

D. Brian Dawson, Mayo Clinic
D. Brian Dawson is the Co-Director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Dawson holds his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University. He completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Molecular Genetics at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Dawson’s prior experience includes Chair in the Division of Laboratory Genetics, Vice-Chair of Business Development in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and the Medical Director of the Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship Program at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Dawson is an Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Laboratory Sciences & Primary Care at the Health Science Center, Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He is Board Certified in Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Molecular Genetics.

Wendy Kohlmann, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Wendy Kohlmann is a board certified genetic counselor with over 15-years of experience providing cancer genetic counseling. She obtained her Masters degree in genetic counseling from the University of Cincinnati, and she previously provided cancer genetic services at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Michigan. She is currently the manager of the Genetic Counseling Shared Resource and Family Cancer Assessment Clinic at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her research has focused on looking at the psychological and behavioral outcomes of genetic testing, risk assessment and novel models for genetic service delivery.

Elaine Lyon, ARUP
Dr. Lyon is a medical director of Molecular Genetics and Genomics and co-medical director of Pharmacogenomics at ARUP, and an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received her PhD in medical genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and continued with fellowship training in clinical molecular genetics at the University of Utah. Dr. Lyon combines clinical laboratory responsibilities with research and development in human genetics, employing methods for mutation detection. Dr. Lyon has focused her interest in studies to determine the significance of rare variants and is involved nationally with databases that combine genetic variants with clinical symptoms as well as guidelines for variant interpretation. In addition to her University and ARUP responsibilities, she is also the President-Elect for the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP).

John Mejia, ACLU of Utah
John joined the ACLU of Utah as its Legal Director in January 2012. He grew up in Salt Lake City and attended Brown University, where he majored in English and American Literature. After graduating from Brown, John worked for as a supervisor of intake volunteers at Utah Legal Services. John then attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with honors in 2003. For four years after law school, John was a litigation attorney in the insurance group at the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, Illinois. In 2008, John returned to Salt Lake to serve in the federal courts as a law clerk. During his time at the ACLU of Utah, John has advocated and litigated on a broad variety of civil rights issues, including challenging a free speech zone ordinance, bringing suit against a county and federal agents over detention policies and practices regarding suspected undocumented immigrants, and litigating on behalf of state prisoners alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment.

 Amelia Rinehart, S.J. Quinney College of Law
Professor Rinehart joined the faculty in 2010 following two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Florida State University. Prior to entering the legal academy, she practiced law for several years at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe L.L.P. in New York, and Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre L.L.P. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation, procurement, and counseling. Professor Rinehart is a registered patent attorney and her scholarship focuses on patent law and theory.

Benjamin Jackson, Myriad Genetics
Ben Jackson has been with Myriad for almost eight years, starting as a law student clerk and advancing to his current position as Senior Director of Legal Affairs. In this role, Ben oversees Myriad’s intellectual property portfolio and a significant portion of Myriad’s commercial legal matters. He is also intimately involved in Myriad’s litigation surrounding the BRCA genes (e.g., AMP v. Myriad) and he co-authored Myriad’s amicus briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Prometheus v. Mayo, Akamai v. Limelight, and McKesson v. Epic Systems. Ben graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics and received his J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.


November 1, 2013
12:15 pm - 3:00 pm
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S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States