Monday, September 14, 2020


Solomon Center Welcomes New Staff, Affiliates, and Fellows

The Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School is kicking off the 2020–2021 academic year with new staff members, an unprecedented number of student fellows, and the return of many key staff, affiliates, and faculty.

Ryan Knox has joined the Solomon Center as Senior Research Fellow. Knox is leaving private practice where he was an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and worked on a variety of employment, privacy, and healthcare matters. He will be an integral part of the Center’s ongoing projects on Cancer, COVID-19, and telemedicine, as well as a number of other research efforts. His research interests include healthcare regulation, prescription drug pricing and competition, health privacy, and access to medicines. Knox’s scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Law and Medicine; the Journal of Law and the Biosciences; the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics; and Diabetic Medicine.

Laura Hoffman will join Ryan as Senior Research Fellow, and she will focus on the Center’s Palliative Care GPS project, the Elder Law Project, and the Center’s year-long focus on the Americans with Disability Act. Previously, Hoffman was an Assistant Professor at Seton Hall Law School where she focused on research health care law and policy. Her scholarship to date has focused on disability law and has been published in the Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, Connecticut Law Review, and John Marshall Law Review.

“We are incredibly fortunate to welcome Ryan and Laura, both of whom who have already accomplished so much as scholars so early in their careers,” said Solomon Center Founding Faculty Director Professor Abbe R. Gluck ’00. “Each brings diverse areas of expertise to Yale and their presence will enrich us, our students, and our work beyond measure.”

The Center also welcomes a new Program Coordinator to the team, Jessenia Khalyat. Jessenia graduated from Yale College and previously worked in Sterling Memorial Library as a project assistant. During her time in the library, she helped direct several reorganization projects and worked to improve access to the collection.

“Jessenia has already proven herself to be an outstanding member of the Solomon Center team. She brings an exceptional level of professionalism, thoughtfulness, and critical thinking to the role, along with a real passion for health care,” Solomon Center Executive Director, Katherine Kraschel said.

Professor Nina Kohn rejoins the Solomon Center in the new role of Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law. Kohn is a leading authority in Elder Law and the civil rights of older adults. Her research focuses on how the law shapes and responds to the experience of growing older and the needs of older adults. Over the past several months, her research and advocacy in the area of elder law have been crucial in shedding light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aging populations and longterm care residents.

This summer, James Bhandary-Alexander became the inaugural Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) Legal Director for the Solomon Center. Bhandary-Alexander joins the center after 11 years at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association where he served hundreds of low-income clients from New Haven County. He has also served as a clinical instructor in the Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic. His hire marks the expansion of New Haven’s MLPs to address the health-harming legal needs of more patients within the community.

The Solomon Center also continues its successful research partnership with the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) at Rockefeller University and the Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Joseph Fins, Visiting Professor of Law and the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics, and Law, returns to lead that partnership along with Senior Research Fellow Zach Shapiro. Dr. Fins will be coteaching a new Yale Law School research course this semester with Professor Gluck: Brain Injury, Medical Ethics and Disability Rights. Dr. Aaron Kesselheim returns as the Sidley Austin–Robert D. McLean Visiting Professor in Law and a Solomon Center Distinguished Visitor to teach FDA Law & Policy seminar this fall, and this spring, the Center welcomes back Mark Barnes ’84, Visiting Lecturer in Law, to teach Public Health Law.

With an unprecedented number of applicants this year, the Solomon Center accepted more than 80 Student Fellows from five of the graduate and professional schools; Yale Law School, Yale School of Management, Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, and Yale School of Public Health. This year’s cohort has a diverse range of interests, spanning from disability law to mobile health and criminal justice.

“If this year has shown us anything,” Gluck said, “it is how fundamental health law and policy are to every aspect of our lives. We could not be more delighted by the level of interest from our colleagues and students from across the University and we cannot wait to engage with them and, together, think through the challenging issues of this extraordinary time.”