Food and Drug Law Journal Symposium
Going Viral: Safeguarding Public Health in the Modern Era

One of the fundamental responsibilities of government is protecting the public health. While food and drug law-related issues have faced public pressure since the inception of regulation, the speed and breadth of information sharing has transformed the role. Today, a single scientific study, news article, or individuals on the Internet can start a movement and quickly sway public opinion—even if it’s spreading misinformation. Intense pressure from the public may prompt legislatures or administrative agencies to craft laws, rules, regulations, policies, or casual Agency actions to address these concerns. This academic symposium will explore the public health impacts when these actions are based not on exhaustive scientific studies, but on public pressure. Examples include legislation and regulations related to stem cells and regenerative medicine, the “right to try,” vaccines, opioids, compounding by outsourcing facilities, direct-to-consumer pricing, and genetically modified organisms.


venue sponsor

Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts closed on August 9, 2019. Accepted articles will be notified by August 16, and draft articles must be submitted by November 1.

Please contact Paige Samson with any questions.

Register Now

Industry & Firms

  • $49 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • $49 for nonmembers


  • full-time students only
Register Now

Confirmed Speakers

Mary Ann Chirba, Boston College, “FDA Regulation of Adipose Stem Cell Therapies: Separating Fat from Fiction”

Jason Brooke, Navigant Consulting, “A Shifting Regulatory Framework for Digital Health: The Impact of Silicon Valley on the FDA’s Mission to Promote and Protect the Public Health”

Nicole Negowetti, Harvard Law School, “Modernizing Food Labeling: The Narratives of Food Innovation and Deciphering Mixed Messages”

Valerie Bonham & David Peloquin, Ropes & Gray LLP, “Public Perception and Policy Development in Consent Standards for Human Research—How Competing Views on Public Goods and Private Interests Shape Data Sharing, Big Data Research, and Other Activities Using Human Data and Materials”


Daren Bakst, Heritage Foundation,  “Strengthening the Information Quality Act to Improve Federally Disseminated Public Health Information”

Sangeeta Abraham, “Development and Regulation of Innovations: In the Current State of Facts vs. Public Opinions, the Truth Does Not Always Prevail”

Val Giddings, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, “NonGMO Labels”—Absence Claims—The Law, Congressional Intent, and FDA Policy”

Tamany Vinson Bentz, DLA Piper LLP (US), “With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility”


Planning Committee

Anthony J. Anscombe, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Nigel Barrella, Law Office of Nigel Barrella
Kenita Barrow, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Laurie J. Beyranevand, Vermont Law School
Barbara A. Binzak Blumenfeld, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (Chair)
Marie Boyd, University of South Carolina
Nathan Brown, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Catherine A. Clements, Eli Lilly and Company
Carl Fischer, Becton Dickinson
Ralph Hall, University of Minnesota
Peter Barton Hutt, Covington & Burling LLP
Erica Michele Jackson, K&L Gates LLP
William M. Janssen, Charleston School of Law
John Johnson,, LLC/ Benjamin L. England & Associates LLC
Alan C. Katz, toXcel, LLC
Sari Bourne Kaplan, Genentech, Inc.
Sara Wexler Koblitz, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, PC
Hilary Lewis, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Priya Malavika Mannan, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Alexandra Marzelli, FDA – OC
J.R. McNair, Winston & Strawn LLP
Alan Minsk, Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
Nicole E. Negowetti, Harvard Law School
James T. O’Reilly, University of Cincinnati
Bruce Patsner, University of Houston
Sandra Retzky, FDA – CTP
Jessica Ringel, King & Spalding LLP
Melissa B. Runsten, Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP
Marc Scheineson, Alston & Bird LLP
Jodi Schipper, FDA – CDER
Shy Shorer, National Institutes of Health
David C. Spangler, Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA)
Andrew Wasson, Haug Partners LLP
Emily Wright, Pfizer, Inc.
Lowell Zeta, Hogan Lovells US LLP
Patricia Zettler, The Ohio State University


Continuing Legal Education

FDLI applies for CLE credits in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These CLE approvals may also be honored by other states; please check with your bar association for guidance. The CLE credits will be posted as they are granted and you can request to be notified when approval is received.


Location and Overnight Accommodations


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
2001 K St NW
Washington, DC 20006

Overnight Accommodations

Accommodation options will be announced soon.


Please contact the Conference Department with any accessibility requirements or dietary restrictions, or for other questions.