• Full-Time Faculty
  • Nathan Cortez

  • Associate Dean for Research, Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow, and the Adelfa Botello Callejo Endowed Professor of Law in Leadership and Latino Studies

"How does law deal with the novel and unexpected? I spend a lot of my teaching and research time on this question."

  • fulltime Faculty
  • Nathan Cortez

  • Associate Dean for Research, Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow, and the Adelfa Botello Callejo Endowed Professor of Law in Leadership and Latino Studies

"How does law deal with the novel and unexpected? I spend a lot of my teaching and research time on this question."

Nathan Cortez

Associate Dean for Research, Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow, and the Adelfa Botello Callejo Endowed Professor of Law in Leadership and Latino Studies

  • Biography

    • Professor Cortez, a Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and the inaugural Adelfa Botello Callejo Endowed Professor of Law in Leadership and Latino Studies, teaches and writes in the areas of health law, administrative law, and FDA law. His research focuses on emerging markets in health care and biotechnology. Prof. Cortez has become one of the world’s leading legal scholars on medical tourism and other cross-border health markets, and has published several articles and book chapters on the legal and ethical implications of these phenomena. His research also addresses mobile health technologies, how to regulate innovation under aging regulatory frameworks, the First Amendment constraints on FDA regulation, immigration federalism, and alternative modes of regulation.

      Professor Cortez has presented his research around the world, including to professional societies, at industry conferences, to regulators, and at several universities, including Colorado, Harvard, North Carolina, the University of Paris, Radboud University (Netherlands), Stanford, Texas, Wisconsin, and Yale. He also provides frequent commentary to the media, including the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, CNN, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, NPR, WIRED, and Slate.com. 

      Professor Cortez has co-founded the Texas Legal Scholars Workshop and the SMU Food Law Forum. He has been a peer reviewer for some of the best legal and medical publications in the world, including Health Affairs, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, and the Yale Law Journal. He has been a consultant for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), is a member of SMU's Center for Global Health Impact, and is a mentor to health care technology start-ups for the incubator Health Wildcatters.

      Before joining the SMU faculty, Professor Cortez practiced with the Washington D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter, as part of its pharmaceutical, health care, and biotech practice. He represented clients in health care regulatory matters, with a special emphasis on health care fraud and abuse, FDA enforcement, privacy, and the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He represented clients during litigation, in corporate transactions, during agency enforcement actions, and during congressional investigations and hearings. While at Arnold & Porter, Professor Cortez litigated pro bono cases with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and was a Board Member of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Foundation. In 2006, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rutgers-Camden Law School.

      In 2013, Professor Cortez and Glenn Cohen received a grant from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to host an Exploratory Seminar on Mobile Health. In 2015, Professor Cortez was awarded a university-wide Gerald J. Ford Research Fellowship.
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Administrative Law
      Food & Drug Law
      Health Law
      International Health
      Legislation and Regulation
       
  • Education

    • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
      J.D., Stanford University
  • Courses

    • Administrative Law
      Food & Drug Law
      Health Law
      International & Comparative Health Law
      Legislation
  • Presentations

    • Regulation by Database
      Health Law Workshop
      Harvard Law School (Apr. 11, 2016)

      Food Labeling and Compelled Speech
      Food Law Forum
      SMU Law School (Nov. 13, 2016)

      Towards a Jurisprudence for Innovation
      Digital Broadband Migration Conference:
      First Principles for a Twenty-First Century Innovation Policy
      Silicon Flatirons Center
      University of Colorado School of Law (Feb. 9, 2015)

      Gatekeeping for Mobile Health
      Center for Law and the Biosciences
      Stanford Law School (Jan. 27, 2015)

      Gatekeeping Regulation for mHealth
      Food & Drug Law Institute (FDLI) and Petrie-Flom Center for 
      Health Law, Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics
      Harvard Law School
      Washington, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2014)

      Three Decades Plus of FDA Software Regulation
      Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
      Harvard University (Sep. 20, 2013)

      Innovations Without Clear Regulatory Precedents
      (with Aaron Kesselheim)
      Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
      Harvard University (Sep. 20, 2013)

      Is the FDA Equipped to Regulate Mobile Health?
      Harvard Law School (June 5, 2013)

      The Legal Ambiguities of Medical Tourism
      University of North Carolina School of Law (Feb. 1, 2013)

      International Health Care Convergence
      University of Paris, Hospital Saint-Louis (Aug. 22, 2012)

      Immigrants and Health Reform
      Hispanic National Bar Association (Sep. 1, 2011)

      Cross-Border Health Care and the Hydraulics of Health Reform
      Harvard Law School (May 20, 2011)

      Can Speech by FDA-Regulated Firms Ever Be Noncommercial?
      Boston University School of Law (Feb. 26, 2011)

      Is Cross-Border Health Insurance the Answer?
      American Society of Law, Medicine, & Ethics
      University of Texas School of Law (Jun. 4, 2009)

      Emerging Legal Issues with Immigrant Access to Care
      Fourth Annual William R. Courtney Lecture in Law
      Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, College of Medicine (Mar. 17, 2010)

      Ethics in Social Security Cases
      U.S. Social Security Administration (Jan. 19, 2010)

      The Changing Role of Markets and Competition in U.S. Health Care
      Radboud University
      Nijmegen, Netherlands (Oct. 2, 2009)

      Recalibrating the Legal Risks of Cross-Border Health Care
      Yale Law School (Sep. 22, 2009)

      The Legal Impact of Voluntary Codes of Conduct in the Health Industry
      Food and Drug Law Institute (Sep. 21, 2009)

      International Health Care Convergence
      University of Wisconsin School of Law (Mar. 7, 2008)