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April Moreno
Program Director
University of Houston Law Center
Health Law & Policy Institute
4104 Martin Luther King Blvd
Houston, TX 77204-6060
(713) 743-2101


Health Law & Policy Institute

Health Law Faculty and Staff


HLPI Core Faculty, Affiliated Faculty, Adjunct Faculty and Staff

HLPI Core Faculty



Director, Health Law & Policy Institute
Professor of Law, Leonard H. Childs Chair in Law​
Professor of Medicine

B.A., University of Southern California
J.D., Yale Law School

Jessica L. Roberts is the Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute and the Leonard Childs Professor in Law, who specializes in genetics and the law, health law, and disability law. Prior to UH, Professor Roberts was an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School and an Adjunct Professor of Disability Studies at the City University of New York. 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.

Professor Roberts' research operates at the intersection of health law, ethics, and social justice. Her scholarship has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Northwestern Law Review, Michigan Law ReviewNotre Dame Law Review (twice), University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, the American Journal of BioethicsNature Biotechnology (twice), and JAMA Internal Medicine, among others. Cambridge University Press published her book on "healthism," co-authored with Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, in 2018.

Her recent scholarship focuses on people’s legal interests in their genetic data. Professor Roberts has received funding from the Greenwall Foundation and the National Institutes of Health for her work on the legal implications of genetic technology.

A noted expert on diverse issues of health law, Professor Roberts has been interviewed by several leading media outlets, including U.S. News, the New York Times (twice), the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, National Public Radio, and BBC World Service.

Professor Roberts has received the university-wide Teaching Excellence Award and the Provost's Certificate of Excellence. She was named a 2018 Greenwall Faculty Scholar in Bioethics and is a Health Policy Scholar with Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy.

Professor Roberts teaches, or has taught, Genetics & the Law, Disabilities & the Law, Contracts, and Health Law.


Co-Director, Health Law & Policy Institute
Associate Professor of Law and George Butler Research Professor

B.A., University of Pennsylvania
J.D., M.P.P., University of Michigan Law School

Jessica L. Mantel is an Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute. Her research interests include the impact of
legislative and regulatory schemes on emerging trends in the health care delivery system, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the allocation of limited health care resources. Her most recent work has focused on how payment reforms impact the physician-patient relationship and cross-sector collaborations to address the social determinants of health. Prior to joining the UH Law Center in 2010, Professor Mantel served as a senior attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While in government, Professor Mantel worked on a range of Medicare matters, including advising the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, inpatient hospital payments and incentive payments for providers adopting electronic health records. Previously, she was a health analyst at the Government Accountability Office and was an associate in the health care practice at Ropes & Gray.


Co-Director, Health Law & Policy Institute
Assistant Professor of Law
A.B., Princeton University
J.D., Harvard Law School

Valerie Gutmann Koch is a Co-Director of the Health Law & Policy Institute. She also serves as the Director of Law & Ethics at the University of Chicago MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Previously, she was the Jaharis Faculty Fellow at DePaul University College of Law and a Visiting Assistant Professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Professor Koch was the Special Advisor and Senior Attorney to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, the state’s bioethics commission, where she crafted policy and guidance related to pandemic preparedness and crisis standards of care, human subjects research, and surrogate decision-making. Following law school, she practiced intellectual property litigation at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

As a scholar of bioethics, public policy, and health law, Professor Koch concentrates on how medical and technological advances haveinformed and sometimes transformed various areas of law, identifying ways in which law and policy is – or is not – equipped to address changes in technology and practice. She earned her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where she was the co-editor of the recent developments section of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, with a focus in bioethics. Professor Koch is committed to public service, including serving as the Chair of the ABA’s Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law and Co-Chair of the Law Affinity Group for the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities.


Law Foundation Professor of Law

A.B., Princeton University
J.D., Harvard University Law School

Seth J. Chandler is a Law Foundation Professor of Law at the UH Law Center who specializes in insurance law and the application of mathematics and computer science to law. Professor Chandler won a prestigious university-wide teaching excellence award in 1995, was a first year winner of the Innovator Award from Wolfram Research, received the President's Medal from Loyola University for extraordinary service in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and has been called on twice to testify before Congress on the Affordable Care Act. Professor Chandler has a broad Internet presence; he is the author of over 100 interactive Demonstrations on the Wolfram Research website. He founded two blogs,, which addressed the ACA, and, which addressed catastrophic insurance in Texas. He is currently a blogger on health care finance issues for Forbes Magazine on its Apothecary site. Professor Chandler's blog entries have over 400,000 views. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. He practiced with Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles and Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. before beginning his academic career in 1990 at the UH Law Center. Professor Chandler teaches contracts, health law, analytic methods and constitutional law.

Dr. Michael S. Ewer

Dr. Michael S. Ewer

Distinguished Visiting Professor and Health Law LL.M. Director, Health Law & Policy Institute
Professor of Medicine and Special Assistant to the Vice President, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

B.A., Hunter College
M.D., University of Basel, Switzerland
M.P.H., University of Texas School of Public Health J.D., University of Houston Law Center
LL.M., University of Houston Law Center
Ph.D., University of Texas School of Public Health

Dr. Michael S. Ewer is a Professor of Medicine and an administrator at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he has served for the last 40 years. He is also a faculty member at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Dr. Ewer holds a doctorate degree from The University of Texas and received his J.D. and LL.M. degrees from the University of Houston Law Center. He has broad experience in medical ethics, conflicts of interest and uncompensated (charity) medical care. Dr. Ewer has published extensively in the fields of oncology, medical ethics and philosophy of medical care; has authored four medical texts and is a sought-after international speaker. He teaches hospital law & ethics, HIPAA and foundational issues in health law.


Research Director, Health Law & Policy Institute and Research Assistant Professor

B.S., Georgetown University
J.D., University of Houston Law Center

Leah R. Fowler is a Research Assistant Professor and Research Director in the Health Law & Policy Institute. She conducts multidisciplinary, collaborative research on the ethical, legal, and social implications of health care innovations, including consumer health technologies, novel care delivery models, and public health interventions. Her scholarship appears in social science, bioethics, and legal publications. Her recent work is published or forthcoming in the American Journal of Law & Medicine, the Journal of Legal Medicine, Pediatrics, Northeastern Law Review, Health Promotion Practice, The Journal of Aging Studies, Theology and Science, and the American Journal of Bioethics.

Prior to joining the University of Houston, Professor Fowler worked as the Health Policy Program Manager in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine, where she maintains a designation as a Health Policy Scholar.

Affiliated Faculty

Jim  Hawkins

George Butler Research Professor of Law 

J.D., The University of Texas School of Law
B.A., Baylor University

Jim Hawkins earned his J.D. from The University  of Texas, where he was the Grand Chancellor and served as the Chief Articles Editor of the Texas Law Review. He has published articles in the UCLA Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, the Washington and Lee Law Review, the William and Mary Law Review and the Harvard Journal on Legislation, among other journals. His papers have been selected for the Yale/Stanford/ Harvard Junior Faculty Forum and for the Petrie- Flom Center's annual conference at Harvard Law School.

Professor Hawkins joined the University of Houston Law Center after clerking for The Honorable Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and working with the Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP. His research and teaching interests include consumer borrowing, the fringe banking industry and the fertility business. His research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other media outlets.

David  Kwok


Assistant Professor of Law

B.S., Northwestern University
M.P.P., University of California, Berkeley
J.D., University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

David Kwok graduated Northwestern University with a B.S. from the McCormick School of Engineering and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif. At Berkeley, he also received his Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy and his Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy.

After law school, Professor Kwok clerked for The Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Kwok teaches and writes about white collar crime, public policy, and law and the social sciences.


Royce Till Professor of Law
Director, Center for Children, Law
& Policy

B.A., Kean College
J.D., University of San Francisco
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center

Ellen Marrus teaches in the areas of juvenile law, professional responsibility, children and the law and practice skills. She concentrates her scholarship in the areas of children's rights, juvenile justice and professionalism. Professor Marrus also directed and taught in the clinical programs at the UH Law Center for 10 years. She currently directs the Center for Children, Law & Policy at the UH Law Center. Professor Marrus serves on various local and national boards, including the National Juvenile Defender Center, the Southwest Regional Juvenile Defender Center, the Houston Association of Counsel for Children and the Clinical Legal Education Association.

James  Nelson

Associate Professor of Law and Business

James Nelson is Associate Professor of Law and Business at the University of Houston Law Center. He also holds an appointment at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. His recent work on corporate law, governance, and rights has been published in the Columbia Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Harvard Business Law Review.

Prior to joining the Law Center, Professor Nelson was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School. He has also been a Fellow at the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, Research Director of the Project on Corporate Political Spending at Harvard Law School, Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and Editor-at-Large of Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets.

Professor Nelson graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review. In law school, he received the Roger & Madeleine Traynor Prize for the best paper by a graduating student and the Robert E. Goldsten Award for distinction in the classroom.

Adjunct Faculty

Partner, Wright Abshire Attorneys PC

Senior Associate General Counsel, Memorial Hermann Health System

Senior Manager, Tax Practice, Mitchell Titus, LLP


Vice President, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer,
M.D. Anderson

Associate General Counsel - Business Affairs, Memorial Hermann Health System

Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office

Associate Director of Government Affairs, Gilead Sciences

Reference and Research Librarian, University of Houston Law Center

Associate Professor of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Director, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, University of Houston Law Center




Program Director