Laura Pedraza-Fariña

Associate Dean for Innovation and Partnerships
Professor of Law


Laura Pedraza-Fariña is a Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of law and a faculty affiliate of the Science in Human Culture Program at Northwestern University.  She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University. 

Professor Pedraza-Fariña’s research falls into two main areas: innovation law and policy, and international organizations (with an emphasis on those organizations that address global health and intellectual property concerns). Using the mixed methods of network science, science and technology studies (STS), and history of science, Professor Pedraza-Fariña 's scholarship on innovation law has developed a sociologically informed approach to intellectual property (IP) law that focuses on the ways in which both technical and artistic knowledge, and thus innovation, are generated, maintained and modified.  Her body of work on innovation law provides a framework for understanding, from both a qualitative and a quantitative perspective, how on the ground innovation dynamics impact innovation outcomes. In turn, in depth knowledge of this relationship between on-the-ground practices and innovation outcomes can help formulate more accurate theories of innovation that can better guide the development of innovation law and policy.

Professor Pedraza-Fariña’s work at the intersection of global health and international intellectual property law analyzes the role of international organizations with overlapping regulatory domains in shaping the relationship between these two legal domains—global health and international IP. Her most recent project analyzes the often contentious relationship between two international organizations with overlapping regulatory domains in these two areas: the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Her research has been published and is forthcoming in both law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, and Osiris.


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Areas of Expertise

  • Patents
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Intellectual Property
  • Law, Science, & Innovation
  • International Organizations

Selected Publications

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  • BA, Oberlin College
  • PhD, Yale University
  • JD, Harvard Law School

Prior Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Visiting Lecturer, Georgetown Law
  • Law Fellow, Georgetown Law
  • Associate, Covington & Burling
  • Consultant, Open Society Foundation

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