Arizona State University will continue to break ground in the state’s growing bioscience industry by offering a new master’s degree in biotechnology and genomics law next year, the first of its kind in the nation.
Approved by the Arizona Board of Regents in late June, the one-year degree program will focus on complex legal issues surrounding the field of biotechnology, such as confidentiality in genetic testing and regulation of genetically modified crops.
The program was established to meet the imminent and future needs of the Valley’s burgeoning biotech industry, as well as a growing international call for legal experts in the relatively new field, according to the Arizona Daily Star. It will be housed at ASU’s Center for Law, Science and Technology.
Arizona’s flagship Translational Genomics Research Institute, as well as its state universities and future spin-off companies, are expected to generate an abundant case load for future graduates of the degree program.
In the first year, just 10 students will be admitted to the premiere law program, the Star reported. In subsequent years, the program will accept additional candidates. Already, the degree has caught the eye of both local and international applicants, who must have completed a juris doctor to be eligible.
Biotechnology and genomics entail a wealth of legal issues, including privacy parameters, federal regulation, intellectual-property rights, and DNA forensics. The need for legal specialists in these areas will grow in tandem with genetic technologies and their manifold applications.
Though the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law currently has no plan to offer a similar master’s degree, administrators at both law schools agreed that future collaboration may be possible, according to the Star.
For more information:
“ASU to offer master’s in biotech law,” Arizona Daily Star, 07/01/2004
“ASU to offer first master’s in biotech and genomics law,” USA Today, 07/01/2004
“ASU to offer 1st master’s degree in biotech, genomics law,” Arizona Republic, 07/08/2004