Meet a SLU Researcher: Ana Santos Rutschman, S.J.D.
Ana Santos Rutschman, S.J.D., is an assistant professor of Health Law Studies. Rutschman’s research includes vaccine law, policy and intellectual property; and how communication and policymaking can be improved to make future vaccine rollouts go smoother.
"So about ten years ago, we were actually going through the aftermath of a pandemic: swine flu pandemic of 2009," Rutschman said. "And one of the things that happened is very similar to what happened with COVID. We had a vaccine race and we produced these vaccines very, very quickly. That's how I became interested in this particular area."
"I study health law," Rutschman said. "In particular, I specialize in vaccine law and policy and vaccine intellectual property — so, patents. So one of the things we've been looking at is how legal instruments and policy instruments can be deployed to help people overcome some vaccine-related hesitancy.
"On the communication side of things, on the policymaking side of things, on the part of the FDA, CDC, and the like, what could be done a little bit better next time around— because we assume there will be another pandemic and another vaccine race—to make that transition between 'no vaccine' and "here's something that seemingly came to market so quickly," you know, a little bit more smooth and more informed."
Life at SLU
"What's happening at SLU in the vaccine space, which is what I know best, but also elsewhere, is important," Rutschman said. "We are all together, students, staff, faculty, everybody. We are doing something that is relevant. It's a great community to be a part of. There's that sense that it matters and some degree of, I think, hope that we all share in."
Meet the Researcher Video Series
This is part of a weekly series of short videos featuring faculty researchers from across the University sharing the important and cutting-edge research taking place at SLU.