Baker Institute fellow available to discuss Supreme Court decision on patenting of human genes

Amy Hodges

Baker Institute fellow available to discuss Supreme Court decision on patenting of human genes

HOUSTON — (June 13, 2013) — In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled today that human genes cannot be patented. Kirstin Matthews, a fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to discuss the court decision.

“This is good for science,” Matthews said. “Patents should protect new innovation not restrict research on biology. This allows expanded genetic research while still preserving new technologies.”

Matthews is a fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute and a lecturer in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Rice. In addition to her teaching duties, she manages the activities of the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program. Her research focuses on the intersection between traditional biomedical research and public policy, which she publishes both through the Baker Institute and in peer-reviewed journals. Current projects include the Baker Institute International Stem Cell Policy Program, the Civic Scientist Lecture Series and Outreach Program and policy studies in research and development funding. From 2004 to 2006, Matthews was also the project director for the task force Access to Health Care in Texas: Challenges of the Uninsured and Underinsured.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Matthews, contact Amy Hodges, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or


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Kirstin Matthews’ bio:

Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.