Jessica L. Roberts - University of Houston
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Jessica L. Roberts, J.D.


Jessica L. Roberts, J.D., is a professor of medicine in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences at the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. She is responsible for teaching health law, health policy and privacy. In addition, Roberts is a professor and the Leonard Child’s Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and director of its Health Law and Policy Institute.

A leading health-law scholar, Roberts specializes in genetics and the law, health law and disability law. Her work on the legal implications of genetic technology has received funding from the Greenwall Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. An avid scholar, her work has appeared in Nature Biotechnology, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Northwestern Law Review and the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, among others. She also coauthored the book “Healthism” with Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, which was published by the Cambridge University Press. Robert’s recent studies focus on people’s legal interests in their genetic data.

A noted expert on diverse issues of health law, Roberts has been interviewed by several leading media outlets, including U.S. News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, National Public Radio and BBC World Service. Roberts has received several accolades including the University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award and its Provost’s Certificate of Excellence. In 2018, she was named the Greenwall Faculty Scholar in Bioethics and she is a Health Policy Scholar with Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy.

Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Yale Law School. Immediately after law school, she clerked for the Honorable Dale Wainwright of the Texas Supreme Court and the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining UH, she was an associate-in-law at Columbia Law School and an adjunct professor of disability studies at the City University of New York.