Dr. Jonathan Kahn

Email: jkahn01@hamline.edu
Phone: 651-523-2648


BA, Yale University
JD, University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
PhD, Cornell University


"Law is a powerful tool to shape society and serve the common good. In training new lawyers it is important to impart not only an understanding of what the legal system demands of them, but also a commitment to figure out what they should demand of the legal system."

View Dr. Kahn's research: SSRN Author Page -- Dr. Jonathan Kahn

Holding a PhD in History from Cornell University and a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law, Jonathan Kahn writes on issues in history, politics, and law and specializes in biotechnology's implications for our ideas of identity, rights, and citizenship, with a particular focus on race and justice. He teaches in areas of constitutional law, torts, health law and bioethics.

Professor Kahn received two grants from the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program to support projects exploring the ethical and legal ramifications of the increasing use of racial and ethnic categories in the context of gene patenting and drug development. Professor Kahn is an internationally recognized expert on this topic.

Most recently, he received a three year grant from the National Library of Medicine to support the writing of his newest book, Race in a Bottle: The Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age (Columbia University Press, 2013), which was awarded Honorable Mention for the 2013 Best Book Award, by the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Dr. Kahn has been published in a wide array of journals ranging from the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics, Iowa Law Review, and the Stanford Law & Policy Journal to Health Affairs, the American Journal of Bioethics, the American Journal of Public Health, Science, and Nature Genetics. His first book, Budgeting Democracy: State-Building and Citizenship in America, 1890-1928 was published in 1997 by Cornell University Press.

Before coming to Hamline, Dr. Kahn practiced with the firm of Hogan & Hartson after graduating from law school and then went on to complete his PhD and teach at Bard College. Later, he served as a visiting associate professor at Harvard University and has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Cornell University School of Law and Western New England School of Law.


The Troubling Persistence of Race in Pharmacogenomics, 40 J.L. MED. & ETHICS 873 (2012).
Keep Hope Alive: Updating the Prudent Investment Standard for Allocating Nuclear Plant Cancellation Costs, 22 FORDHAM ENVTL. L. REV. 43 (2010).
Beyond Bidil: The Expanding Embrace of Race in Biomedical Research and Product Development, 3 ST. LOUIS U.J. HEALTH L. & POL'Y 61 (2009).
Race and Ancestry in Biomedical Research: Exploring the Challenges, 1 GENOME MED. 8 (2009).

Race, Genes and Justice: A Call to Reform the Presentation of Forensic DNA Evidence in Criminal Trials, 74 BROOK. L. REV. 325 (2009).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

Race No Longer a Relevant Element in DNA Trial Evidence, 24 CRIM. JUST. 39 (2009).
LegalTrac (Hamline Users)LegalTrac 

Fundamental Flaws in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Rationale for Supporting the Development and Approval of BiDil® as a Treatment for Heart Failure in Black Patients, 36 J. L. MED. & ETHICS 449 (2008). (with G. Ellison, J. Kaufman & R. Head).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

Inventing Race as a Genetic Commodity in Biotechnology Patents, in CONTEXTS OF INVENTION: CREATIVE PRODUCTION IN LEGAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE (2008).
Race-ing Patents/Patenting Race: An Emerging Political Geography of Intellectual Property in Biotechnology, 92 IOWA L. REV. 353 (2007).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

The Science and Business of Genetic Ancestry Testing, SCIENCE (2007).
Genes, Race, and Population: Avoiding a Collision of Categories, 96 AM. J. PUB. HEALTH 6 (2006).

Race, Pharmacogenomics, and Marketing: Putting BiDil in Context, 6 AM. J. BIOETHICS 1 (2006).
Exploiting Race in Drug Development: BiDil’s Interim Model of Pharmacogenomics, 38 SOC. STUD. SCI. 737 (2006).
Sage Journals 

Surrogate Markers and Surrogate Marketing in Biomedicine: The Regulatory Etiology and Commercial Progression of "Ethnic" Drug D, in BIOMEDICALIZATION (A. Clarke, et al., eds., 2006).
Abe Fortas, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES (Paul Finkelman, ed., 2006).
Being Specific about Race-Specific Medicine, 25 HEALTH AFFAIRS 375 (2006). (with Pamela Shankar).
Academic Search Premier 

Rights and Practical Access to Medicine, 84 BULL. WORLD HEALTH ORG. 409 (2006).
Patenting Race, 24 NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY 1349 (2006).
Getting the Numbers Right: Statistical Mischief and Racial Profiling in Heart Failure Research, 46 PERSP. BIOLOGY & MED. 473 (2003); reprinted in HEALTH AND HEALING IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE (Elizabeth D. Whitaker, ed., 2006).
Project Muse 

Harmonizing Race: Competing Regulatory Paradigms of Racial Categorization in International Drug Development, 5 SANTA CLARA J. INT’L L. 1 (2006).

From Disparity to Difference: How Race-Specific Medicines May Undermine Policies to Address Inequalities in Health Care, 15 S. CAL. INTERDISC. L.J. 105 (2005).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

Controlling Identity: Plessy, Privacy, and Racial Defamation, 54 DEPAUL L. REV. 755 (2005).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline PDF

How a Drug Becomes ‘Ethnic’: Law, Commerce, and the Production of Racial Categories in Medicine, 4 YALE J. HEALTH POL’Y L. & ETHICS 1 (2004).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

What's the Use? Law and Authority in Patenting Human Genetic Material, 14 STANFORD L. & POL. REV. 417 (2003).
 Lexis Westlaw PDF

Privacy as a Legal Principle of Identity Maintenance, 33 SETON HALL L. REV. 371 (2003).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline PDF

What’s in a Name? Law’s Identity under the Tort of Appropriation, 74 TEMP. L. REV. 263 (2001).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline PDF

Product Liability and the Politics of Corporate Presence: Identity and Accountability in MacPherson v. Buick, 35 LOY. L.A. L. REV. 3 (2001).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline PDF

Biotechnology and the Legal Constitution of the Self: Managing Identity in Science, the Market, and Society, 51 HASTINGS L.J. 909 (2000).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline

Bringing Dignity Back to Light: Publicity Rights and the Eclipse of the Tort of Appropriation of Identity, 17 CARDOZO ARTS & ENT. L.J. 213 (1999).
 Lexis Westlaw HeinOnline(Hamline Users) HeinOnline PDF

Enslaving the Image: The Origins of the Tort of Appropriation of Identity Reconsidered, 2 LEGAL THEORY 301 (1996).
Re-Presenting Government and Representing the People: Budget Publicity and Citizenship in New York City, 1908-1911, 19 J. URB. HIST. 84 (1993).
Sage Journals