Sara GerkeJuly 13, 2021 — Sara Gerke, assistant professor of law, was named a 2021 Health Law Scholar by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and Saint Louis University School of Law Center for Health Law Studies.

Each year, a nominating committee chooses four health law scholars through a competitive process that looks for work being developed by junior scholars with an original thesis and that will contribute to the scholarly literature. Scholars present their work during 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 Law School.

“As an emerging scholar in the evolving and critical field of health law, Professor Gerke is most deserving of this recognition,” said Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Lawyering Skills Amy C. Gaudion. “I am excited 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 the health law space.”

Senior health law scholars from law schools across the country participate in the workshop and offer feedback, support and advice on the health law scholars’ works in progress. Gerke will present her paper "The Unique Challenges of Labeling 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 have focused my work on AI in health care because I highly believe that digital technologies have tremendous potential to transform medicine for the better,” said Gerke. “But we are not there yet, and I hope that my work will contribute to achieve AI’s potential and ensure that AI-based products are safe and effective and benefit all of 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 Bioethics at Harvard Law School Project on Precision Medicine, Artificial Intelligence, and the Law. In this role, she oversaw the day-to-day work of the center’s component of this collaborative project, including conducting law, policy, and ethics research; drafting reports and recommendations; and coordinating the center’s efforts with collaborators at the Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law at the University of Copenhagen as well as other partners. Before joining the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Gerke was the General Manager of the Institute for German, European and International Medical Law, Public Health Law and Bioethics of the Universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim.

Gerke’s work has appeared in venues 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 earned her 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 in torts, health law, bioethics, and related topics.