Matthew Norstad

Former Graduate Fellow
School of Public Health
Matthew Norstad's Kavli Center fellowship coincided with his last semester in the Masters of Public Health, Health Policy & Management degree program at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. With an academic and professional background in bioethics, health policy, and genomics, Norstad is particularly interested in the social and economic consequences of new gene editing therapies. These new technologies offer the first opportunity for the treatment of debilitating genetic conditions but have entered the market with record-breaking prices, putting them out of reach of many patients. Intriguingly, in addition to patients and policymakers, scientists, including those who are directly involved in developing gene editing therapies, have begun to engage as political and moral actors, advocating for cheaper, more accessible therapies with explicit justice-based arguments. Norstad's fellowship project traced the emergence and transformation of scientists as advocates and moral actors and drew contrasts with early patient movements with a focus on access, such as HIV/AIDS advocacy in the 1980's.