Karen Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A.

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Karen Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A.

Karen Rothenberg
Senior Advisor to the NHGRI Director on Genomics and Society
Office of the Director


B.A. Princeton University
M.P.A. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
J.D. University of Virginia School of Law

phone (301) 318-2674
fax (301) 402-0837
e-mail karenrh@mail.nih.gov
Building 31, Room 4B09
31 Center Dr
Bethesda, MD 20892

Selected Publications


Over the last two decades, Karen H. Rothenberg, J.D., M.P.A., has focused on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genetic testing and research, including the legislative approaches to genetic information in the health insurance and employment context, the impact of genetic research on racial and ethnic populations and women's health care and the use of genetic information in the courtroom.

In the last year, Professor Rothenberg served as special advisor to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Director and visiting scholar in the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. She conducted research on the use of theater as an innovative tool to identify and encourage discussion of the unique ethical, legal and social issues posed by emerging genomic technologies. She also continues to work closely with NHGRI's ELSI Research Program to assess the portfolio and grant process and explore strategies to better integrate research and policy on genomic and societal issues.

"In my new role as senior advisor to the NHGRI director, I'm looking forward to working to coordinate and enhance genomic and society activities trans-NHGRI - and beyond. I hope to delve more deeply into issues that cut across all aspects of genomics research, including clinical applications. Understanding and addressing these societal issues will be essential for translating genomic information and technologies into improved human health."

This is not the first time Professor Rothenberg has worked with NIH. During sabbaticals and prior Inter-Personnel Agreement leaves from the University of Maryland School of Law, she worked in the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and the National Institute for Child Health & Human Development.

She received both a B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Princeton University and an M.P.A. from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and Order of the Coif. She is the Marjorie Cook Professor of Law, founding director of the Law & Health Care Program and served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Law from 1999-2009.

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Last Updated: December 4, 2012