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Patricia J. Zettler

Associate Professor    

B.A. with distinction and departmental honors, Stanford University
J.D. with distinction, Stanford University


Food and Drug Law
Health Law and Policy


Patricia J. Zettler, associate professor of law, has expertise in the regulation of medicine, medical products, and tobacco products, with an emphasis on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She is a faculty member of the Center for Law, Health & Society, and teaches Torts, Health Law: Quality & Access, and Food and Drug Law.

Zettler’s scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in various legal and medical journals, such as the Indiana Law JournalOhio State Law JournalBostonCollege Law Review, Food and Drug Law JournalYale Journal of Health Policy Law and Ethics,Journal of Law and the BiosciencesJAMA Internal Medicine, EMBO Molecular Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, and Public Health Reports. She also regularly writes about FDA-related issues at Objective Intent, the FDA law and policy blog that she co-founded, as well as at the Yale Journal on Regulation’s blog, Notice & Comment, and Stanford’s Law and the Biosciences Blog.

Zettler’s work has earned her recognition, including being selected as a 2015 Health Law Scholar by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and as the 2018 winner of the Patricia T. Morgan Award for Outstanding Scholarship among the College of Law faculty.  She also advises various groups and organizations on FDA law and policy. Among other things, she served as a consultant to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Pain Management and Regulatory Strategies to Address Prescription Opioid Abuse from 2016 to 2017, and has served on the editorial advisory board for the Food and Drug Law Journal since 2015.

Before joining Georgia State Law in 2015, she was a fellow at the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School. Prior to her fellowship, she served as an associate chief counsel in the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel. In that role, she advised the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services on various issues including drug safety, human subjects protection, expanded access to investigational drugs, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, prescription drug advertising and promotion, incentives for developing antibiotics and advisory committees. In addition to her legal background, Zettler has bioethics experience through work at the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California San Francisco and at the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health.

Zettler graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School in 2009. She received a B.A. in psychology, with distinction and departmental honors, from Stanford University in 2002, where she played on the varsity lacrosse team.

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