His seven years as executive director of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital placed Bill Shaw, JD ’04, directly at the intersection of the healthcare and life sciences industries. The experience also makes Shaw the ideal candidate to lead the UNH Franklin Pierce Health Law and Policy Program.

“My time at the Center put me in the middle of Mass. General, one of the best hospitals in the world,” says Shaw, who will take over the newly renamed Health Law and Life Sciences Program at the law school. “Being part of that organization taught me about the business of healthcare generally, but more specifically how innovations are adopted and the way they change how care is provided.”

In his role at MGH, Shaw was exposed to many of the legal issues that face the healthcare sector, from patient privacy issues to payor issues to regulatory matters to labor law to medical malpractice. In making the announcement about Shaw’s appointment, Dean Megan Carpenter called him “particularly well suited for the unique combination of health law and innovation practiced by many of the graduates of the law school.”

Bill Shaw will replace Lucy Hodder, who will transition to a part-time role teaching at the law school.  Hodder called Shaw the “trifecta as an academic, lawyer, and Franklin Pierce Law graduate, bringing rich experience in biomedical ethics, entrepreneurship, and academic leadership that will enhance our program and the opportunities for our students.”

In addition to his work with the Martinos Center, Shaw spent three years as vice provost for innovation at Tufts University. In 2017, he was named an Eisenhower Fellow and spent time traveling through China exploring its innovation ecosystem. He also completed a fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics, where he focused on the ethical issues related to the interface of artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and business. Shaw’s educational path also reflects his expertise; prior to enrolling in law school, he earned a BS (2001) in chemical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  

As a proud UNH Franklin Pierce graduate, Shaw credits the law school with helping him launch a career that enables him to combine his interests in healthcare and technology. He looks forward the sharing his knowledge with the next generation of aspiring attorneys, while building on the wonderful work of his predecessor.

What impresses me most about the program is its reputation within in New Hampshire,” Shaw says. “Lucy was at the heart of that with her work and reputation in the state. That is a core competency of the program — to prepare our students to be part of the healthcare system in New Hampshire. Building on that core, I will look to build relationships outside of New Hampshire and more specifically with the life science industry that is part of the healthcare system.”

Professor Shaw will add to the strong foundation by helping to create new classes in both the residential and non-residential programs that build on the law school’s strengths. Under Hodder’s supervision of the Health Law and Policy Certificate Program, UNH Franklin Pierce expanded its course offerings and residency placements, created bio-innovation and IP-related classes, and supported classes in the Hybrid JD program.  Under Professor Shaw’s leadership, the law school will build a specialization in health law, biotech, and life sciences for the Hybrid JD in Intellectual Property, Technology, and Information Law, one of the law school’s core academic programs created to launch leaders in IP and tech law and designed for working professionals. 

Shaw describes healthcare as a knowledge business that is closely related to intellectual property. His goals for the program include building its reputation for generating attorneys who possess the breadth of knowledge needed work in healthcare law, while understanding the role of technology and innovation in healthcare. Shaw’s background in healthcare and intellectual property will allow him to be an ideal leader in reaching those goals.

“If you’re focused on healthcare, you will run into intellectual property issues related to innovations, data and contracting. If you’re focused on intellectual property and expect to work at a life science company, you need to understand the business of healthcare to prepare valuable intellectual rights. Many innovations start in research labs at academic medical centers then move to industry for technical development then back for clinical trials and ultimately as part of care. That path from idea to patient is full of legal matters that I can expose our students to in order to help them prepare for their own careers in healthcare.”