Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE


John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine

Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, is the John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She is also Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education in the Department, helping to lead Penn’s first online master’s degree, offered in health care innovation.

Professor Fernandez Lynch’s scholarly work focuses primarily on the ethics and regulation of research with human subjects and related areas, including payment to research participants, research with biospecimens, the use of social media in research settings, patient-engaged research, research risks to bystanders, and IRB effectiveness. She was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar in 2019 and will carry out a new line of research focused on the ethics of health care gatekeeping, with a focus on access to investigational therapies outside clinical trials. She is the author of Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise (MIT Press 2008), as well as the co-editor of seven books, covering human subjects research regulation; FDA regulation of drugs and new technologies; health law and behavioral economics; law, religion, and health; biospecimen research; big data, health law, and bioethics; and transparency in health care.

Professor Fernandez Lynch is the founder and co-chair of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (AEREO), established in 2018. She served as member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) from 2014-2019 and continues to serve on a SACHRP subcommittee. She will join the Board of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R), the leading organization for IRB professionals, in 2020.

Professor Fernandez Lynch was previously the Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School (2012-2017) and Teaching Faculty in the Master of Bioethics program at Harvard Medical School. She has worked as an attorney in private practice focused on pharmaceuticals regulation and as a bioethicist at the NIH’s Division of AIDS and President Obama's Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. She served as an IRB member at the Fenway Institute in Boston. Professor Fernandez Lynch attended college at Penn, where she was a SUMR Scholar. She was a Levy Scholar in Law and Bioethics at Penn Law and earned a Master of Bioethics also from Penn.