Jennifer Gumer, JD, MA
"Bioethics was my interest all along, but I didn't know it was a thing."
I was a Biology major in my undergraduate studies, not because I wanted to be a doctor, but because I loved science. I was particularly interested in the intersection between society and science, so I decided to go to law school after graduating college. Following law school, I went into private practice where, among other things, I served as FDA regulatory counsel for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. While it was interesting working at this intersection of policy and science, the fact my clients often put profits over patient well-being made me realize I wanted something more fulfilling. After some online research, I discovered bioethics and knew it was what I had always been interested in, I just didn’t know it had a name. From there I devised my “exit strategy”, which began with obtaining my Masters in Bioethics from Columbia University.
“The most important question of all: What does it mean to be human?”
I am most excited about the ways in which law can be used to maximize the benefits and minimize the potential harms of genetic- and neuro-technologies. In 2019, I wrote a paper to this effect about germline editing that got a lot of attention and resulted in my being awarded a fellowship at the Hastings Center, where I spent a month researching, writing, and watching “real” bioethicists at work. I published several posts on the Hastings Center Blog after my time there that led several students throughout the country to reach out to me to start conversations on bioethics, which I loved!,
These days I’m a founding partner at a mission driven, transactional law firm. Most of our clients are tech start-ups, including med-tech and bio-tech companies. Even though my job keeps me quite busy, I still find time for my true passion—teaching. I previously taught some online graduate courses for Columbia and now teach “Bioethics and the Law” for LMU and look forward to my Spring ‘22 elective on “Law, Ethics, and Emerging Technology.”