Michelle Mello (BA ’93) is a leading empirical health law scholar whose research is focused on understanding the effects of law and regulation on health care delivery and population health outcomes. She holds a joint appointment at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Health Research and Policy.
Mello is the author of more than 140 articles and book chapters on the medical malpractice system, medical errors and patient safety, research ethics, regulation of pharmaceuticals, legal interventions to combat obesity and noncommunicable disease, and other topics. Her investigations into the dynamics of medical malpractice litigation, the effects of medical liability reforms, the ability of hospitals to shift costs of medical errors to others, and allocating responsibility for medical errors between hospital systems and individual physicians have been particularly impactful. Mello’s publications appear in medical, health policy, and law journals, and she is a frequent contributor to the New England Journal of Medicine.
In 2013, Mello was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, in recognition of outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Mello’s work has also garnered the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth, the leading professional organization for health services and health policy research in the U.S.; a Greenwall Faculty Scholars Award in Bioethics; and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.
Mello teaches Health Law: Improving Public Health and Torts. Prior to joining Stanford in 2014, she was a Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Director of the School’s Program in Law and Public Health, as well as a Lab Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.