Holly Fernandez Lynch
  • Titles:
  • John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
  • Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education
  • Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Greenwall Faculty Scholar
  • Education:
  • JD, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
  • MBe, University of Pennsylvania, Bioethics
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, Health and Societies/Bioethics

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.

A lawyer and bioethicist by training, Professor Fernandez Lynch’s scholarly work focuses on the ethics and regulation of research with human subjects and related issues. She has particular expertise on payment to research participants, human infection challenge studies, research risks to bystanders, research with biospecimens, the use of social media in research settings, patient-engaged research, and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). She is the founder and co-chair of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (AEREO), a collaborative effort established in 2018 to understand, evaluate, and improve IRB quality and effectiveness. Professor Fernandez Lynch was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar in 2019, with funding for research focused on the ethics of health care gatekeeping, including in the context of access to investigational therapies outside clinical trials before they have been approved by FDA. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has focused on FDA policy, drug and vaccine development, ethical conduct of research, and allocation of scarce investigational products. Professor Fernandez Lynch is especially interested in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the field of bioethics.

Professor Fernandez Lynch has published in leading bioethics, medical, and law journals, in addition to popular outlets. She is the author of Conflicts of Conscience in Health Care: An Institutional Compromise, as well as the co-editor of seven books, covering human subjects research regulationFDA regulation of drugs and new technologieshealth law and behavioral economicslaw, religion, and healthbiospecimen researchbig data, health law, and bioethics; and transparency in health care.

Professor Fernandez Lynch served as a 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 is a member of the Boards of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) and the American Society for Law, Medicine, and Ethics (ASMLE), as well as a member of the NYU Working Group on Compassionate Use and Preapproval Access (CUPA). She is also an ethics consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Prior to joining Penn, Professor Fernandez Lynch was 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, was a Levy Scholar in Law and Bioethics at Penn Law, and earned a Master of Bioethics also from Penn.

Most of her papers can be accessed here.

Selected Publications

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