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SLU LAW Adds Kelly Dineen Gillespie to the Center for Health Law Studies Faculty

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Drug-policy expert joins the faculty after serving as the director of the health law program at Creighton University School of Law. 

Saint Louis University School of Law is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kelly Dineen Gillespie, a bioethics and health law expert, to the faculty beginning in January of 2023.

Kelly Dineen Gillespie

“I am thrilled that Professor Dineen Gillespie will join the Center for Health Law Studies at SLU LAW,” said Dean William P. Johnson. “She is a remarkable scholar with well-deserved national recognition for her deep expertise. She is also a dedicated and highly talented teacher and a thoughtful colleague, and her justice-driven work in health law and policy aligns perfectly with our mission. She will have an immediate impact.”

Dineen Gillespie joins the School of Law faculty after serving as a professor and director of the health law program at Creighton University School of Law, where she also held a secondary appointment as a professor of medical humanities at the Creighton University School of Medicine. Prior to her appointment at Creighton, Dineen Gillespie was an assistant professor at SLU LAW with a secondary appointment in SLU’s Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. In addition to her academic role, she also served in the SLU LAW administration as the assistant dean for research and engagement.

”Professor Dineen Gillespie is widely recognized as the nation’s leading scholar on the law and policy of substance abuse disorder and of opioid prescribing. Her expertise is enormously important to the health of our country,” said Professor Robert Gatter, director of the Center for Health Law Studies, now in its 40th year. “She is also an award-winning teacher, who tirelessly serves the needs of her students and the surrounding community. I am thrilled that she will again be part of our team.”

Dineen Gillespie is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Opioid Crisis Task Force and has co-authored two amici briefs before the United States Supreme Court in Ruan v U.S. regarding criminal distribution under The Controlled Substances Act as applied to prescribers. Her work has been published in law and interdisciplinary journals including the Cato Supreme Court Review, Arizona State Law Review, American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Addiction Medicine, and others. She is the co-editor and author of several chapters in “Prescription Drug Diversion and Pain: History, Policy, and Treatment”, published by Oxford University Press. Throughout her career, she has been interviewed by many media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Blomberg, STAT News, LAW360,, and NPR.

A former practicing nurse, Professor Dineen Gillespie holds a PhD, with distinction, in health care ethics from Saint Louis University. She is also a graduate of SLU LAW, where she earned a concentration from the Center for Health Law Studies. As a nurse, Dineen Gillespie worked in neurosurgery and transplant ICUs, clinical research, as well as with functional neurosurgeons caring for people with persistent pain and movement disorders with implanted programmable medical devices.

Prior to her first academic appointment at SLU LAW, Dineen Gillespie practiced in the health law practice group at Husch Blackwell.

“I am thrilled to join the School of Law faculty and the Center for Health Law Studies,” said Dineen Gillespie. “SLU LAW is an extraordinary place with exceptional people – including the faculty, staff, and students. I am honored to be a part of it and to have the chance to collaborate both within the law school and across schools and disciplines to work toward justice in health policy.”

Learn more about the Center for Health Law Studies