Laura B. Rowe


As research using human biological materials has rapidly developed, so too has the debate over the ownership of these highly valuable materials. Most recently, the Eighth Circuit in Washington University v. Catalona held that research participants do not retain any ownership interest in the biological materials they contribute to research. This note argues that the misguided Catalona decision, in combination with unclear, outdated, and inadequate federal research regulations, has left human contributors of biological material largely unprotected and vulnerable to the goals of researchers, institutions, and biotechnology firms. Accordingly, this note proposes critical amendments to the federal research regulations that will ensure the continued advancement of biomedical research by protecting the human sources who make this research possible.

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