Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.
Learn how to update your browser.

Joanna Sax

E. Donald Shapiro Professor of Law
Director, Institute of Health Law Studies

JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School
PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine [Cell and Molecular Biology]
BS, University of Wisconsin [Zoology]
225 Cedar St., Rm. 316
(619) 515-1555
Contracts; Law, Science and Medicine; Health Law; Trusts & Estates

Professor Joanna Sax is the E. Donald Shapiro Professor of Law.

Professor Sax's research is at the nexus of law and science. Her articles address ways to incentivize the advancement of science and protect scientific inquiry and innovation. Professor Sax analyzes and questions policies that create barriers to basic science research, mostly by focusing on NIH-funded research. In addition to basic research, she has a strong interest in the translation of advances in basic science. In this vein, Professor Sax is widely recognized for her work on food policy, particularly FDA regulation of dietary supplements and genetically engineered food.

Professor Sax combines her education with her legal background in her research and teaching. She has a JD and PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. After law school, Professor Sax was an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, and is admitted to practice in California and the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Sax directs the Institute of Health Law Studies, and has an appointment as a voluntary clinical instructor at the University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences. Professor Sax served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at California Western for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. In fall 2016, she was a visiting faculty member at the James E. Rogers College of Law – University of Arizona.

While Professor Sax's core teaching interests mirror her research, she also enjoys teaching first-year students. In 2015, she authored an innovative online casebook for contracts published by ChartaCourse, which provides an interactive online environment at an attractively low cost to students.

View Professor Sax's SSRN Author Page.

Recent Publications

  • Joanna K. Sax, The GMO Debate, 4 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 345 (2017).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Contours of GMO Regulation and Labeling, 19 SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 413 (2017).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Biotechnology and Consumer Decision-Making, 47 Seton Hall L. Rev. 433 (2017).
  • Joanna K. Sax & Neal Doran, Food Labeling and Consumer Associations with Health, Safety and Environment, 44 J.L. Med. & Ethics 680 (2016).
  • Steven H. Strauss & Joanna K. Sax, An End to Event-Based Regulation of GMO Crops, 34 Nature Biotechnology 474 (2016).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Dietary Supplements are Not all Safe and Not all Food: How the Low Cost of Dietary Supplements Preys on the Consumer, 41 Am. J.L. & Med. 374 (2015).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Contracts (2015) (including a teacher’s manual).
  • Joanna K. Sax, The Separation of Politics and Science, 7 Stan. J.L. Sci. & Pol’y 10 (2014).
  • Joanna K. Sax, The Tobacco Diaries: Lessons Learned and Applied to Regulation of Dietary Supplements, 73 Md. L. Rev. Endnotes 20 (2013).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Application of Default Rules to Address Financial Conflicts of Interest in Academic Medical Centers, 87 Ind. L.J. Supp. 53 (2012).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Financial Conflicts of Interest in Science, 21 Loy. Annals Health L. 291 (2012).
  • Joanna K. Sax & Neal M. Doran, Evaluation of Academic Scientists' Responses to Situations that Pose a Conflict of Interest, 12 Cancer Biology & Therapy 4 (2011).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Protecting Scientific Integrity: The Commercial Speech Doctrine Applied to Industry Publications, 37 Am. J.L. & Med. 203 (2011).
  • Joanna K. Sax, Access to Prescription Drugs: A Normative Economic Approach to Pharmacist Conscience Clause Legislation, 63 Me. L. Rev. 89 (2010).