My research focuses on ethical and policy issues related to biomedical research and development. Specifically, I am looking at intellectual property rights for biotechnology, including genetics and stem cell related patents, the development of scientific research collaborations and ethical issues related to emerging biomedical technologies. Along with Baker Institute fellow Steve Lewis and Baker Institute Rice scholar Elaine Howard Ecklund, I am a co-principal investigator on a project that surveys and interviews scientists around the world to compare how they view science, religion and ethics.
Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D., is a fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute. She is also a lecturer in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Rice University.
Matthews manages the activities of the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program, which include overseeing events, conducting policy research, and writing policy reports and briefs. Her research focuses on the intersection between traditional biomedical research and public policy, which she publishes both through the Baker Institute and in peer-reviewed journals. Current projects include the Baker Institute International Stem Cell Policy Program, the Civic Scientist Lecture Series and Outreach Program, and policy studies in research and development funding.
Matthews came to Rice University as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a research assistant at the Baker Institute in 2003. From 2004 to 2006, Matthews was also the project director for the task force Access to Health Care in Texas: Challenges of the Uninsured and Underinsured. The task force released the report “Code Red: The Health of Texas” in April 2006, followed by an update, “Code Red 2008,” in March 2008.
Matthews has a B.A. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.