Neil M. Richards, JD, MA
We’re a trusted, accessible resource for the medical and legal professions, legislators, the judiciary and the public in the areas of human information and healthcare policy.
We solve existing and emerging legal and policy issues arising from the collection and use of human information with a particular focus on human genomics and other data-intensive technologies that also demand considerations of data privacy.
We empower people by encouraging transparency and fostering trust in order to protect the individuals whose data are being used to fuel advances and activities in medicine, science, commerce and on the Internet. We use our expertise to encourage transparency about data practices, promote ethical uses of human data of all types, and build trust in the information architectures that are transforming society.
We work to inspire the next generation of scholars and practicing professionals to provide leadership at the nexus of medicine and law.
With expertise and passion, the Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law facilitates important conversations and influences action in order to prepare and protect current and future generations.
At its core, the Cordell Institute is an international network of fellows—scholars, researchers, practicing physicians, lawyers and corporate executives who apply their expertise in science, law, medicine, and ethics to advance understanding and promote the common good. We believe that by working together to provide lasting solutions to difficult problems we can become a trusted resource for thoughtful, practical guidance in a world with increasingly data-driven technology that touches not only healthcare, but travel, shopping, education, and our engagement with civic and government entities.
Our work takes on many forms—academic papers reporting on scholarly research findings, policies and guidelines and other white papers, key language in state and federal legislation, court filings, conference presentations, webinars, blog posts and other media-related communications—all in an effort to improve our current state and prepare for a future that will increasingly rely on the interactions between technology and data. We want to help you understand it, participate according to your own needs and level of comfort, and most of all, not to fear it. This work is needed and ongoing. It is something we must do well today, and do even better tomorrow.
Outstanding faculty from Law, Medicine and other disciplines across Washington University whose professional expertise and research interests overlaps with the core mission and projects of the Cordell Institute help us to anchor our work in relevant applications and projects. They provide a dynamic influence on the issues we engage and an incredible network from which we can develop meaningful and productive collaborations.
Our Professional Fellows are practitioners in leading law firms and medical centers, conducting important research in public and private institutions, and developing new businesses and services in companies large and small across the United States and the around the world. These are some of the people creating our future today; they bring real-life experience to bear on the most difficult issues we are facing related to privacy, security, access to quality healthcare and life-changing therapies. Most are frontline advocates already driving policies to guide the ethical applications of technology and management of human information.
Our Research Fellows are Washington University are post-graduate trainees from the schools of law and medicine. Many of our Research Fellows have earned dedicated, sponsored fellowships. Through their hands-on experience, they work to advance healthcare and information law, and then take this knowledge and experience forward into their careers.
Join us to influence the role that data plays in our lives.
Created through the vision and determination of Nancy Staudt, Howard & Caroline Cayne Professor of Law and Dean of the Washington University Law School, and Timothy Eberlein, Spencer T. & Ann Olin Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine, the Cordell Institute brings world-leading scientific and clinical expertise in human genomics together with legal expertise in privacy and health law to guide the timely and ethically responsible emergence of data-driven healthcare, often referred to as Personalized or Precision Medicine. The campuses of these two great schools at Washington University are separated not only physically by the historic Forest Park (site of the 1904 World’s Fair), but also intellectually in their scholarship activities and even the language used to communicate. The Cordell Institute is a bold approach to bridge these campuses and intellectual spaces to the benefit of our institution, our St. Louis community, and our globally-connected community of nations.
Through the generous gift from the Joseph and Yvonne Cordell family, The Cordell Institute was formally dedicated in September of 2018. Their support and deep engagement of these issues provides ongoing inspiration in others to make a difference. We are grateful for their support in this worthy endeavor.