Dr. Matthews' research focuses on ethical and policy issues related to biomedical research and development. Specifically, she looks at regulation and ethical issues related to emerging biotechnology, including genetics and stem cell therapies, and the development of scientific research collaborations. In addition, she is part of a research team with senior fellow Neal Lane and postdoctoral fellow Kenneth Evans, researching the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, federal funding and use of science and technology research and development.
Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D., is a fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute. She is also a lecturer in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, a joint faculty member in the Department of BioSciences, and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. In addition, she is a track advisor for the Wiess School of Natural Sciences’ Professional Science Master in Biosciences and Health Policy.
Matthews manages the activities of the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program, and the Center for Health and Biosciences’ Biomedical Research Program. Her research focuses on the intersection between traditional biomedical research and public policy, which she publishes both through the Baker Institute and in peer-reviewed journals. Current projects include the Baker Institute International Stem Cell Policy Program, the Civic Scientist Lecture Series and Outreach Program, and policy studies in research and development funding.
Matthews came to Rice University as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a research assistant at the Baker Institute in 2003. From 2004 to 2006, she was also the project director for the task force Access to Health Care in Texas: Challenges of the Uninsured and Underinsured. The task force released the report “Code Red: The Health of Texas” in April 2006, followed by an update, “Code Red 2008,” in March 2008.
Matthews has a B.A. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.