R. Alta Charo is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she is on the faculty of the Law School and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the medical school. She also has served on the faculty of the UW Masters in Biotechnology Studies program and lectured in the MPH program of the Dept. of Population Health Sciences.
Alta Charo (B.A. biology, Harvard 1979; J.D. Columbia, 1982) is an elected member (2004) of the World Technology Network and (2005) the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. And in 2006 she was elected to membership in the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now known as the National Academy of Medicine). In 2013 she was awarded the Adam Yarmolinsky Medal for her service to the IOM.
Professor Charo served on President Obama's transition team, where she was a member of the HHS review team, focusing her attention particularly on transition issues related to NIH, FDA, bioethics, stem cell policy, and women's reproductive health. She was on leave 2009-2011 to serve as a senior policy advisor on emerging technology issues in the Office of the Commissioner at the US Food & Drug Administration.
Professor Charo offers courses on public health law, bioethics, biotechnology law, food & drug law, reproductive rights, stem cell policy, torts, and legislative drafting. In addition, she has served on the UW Hospital clinical ethics committee, the University's Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects in medical research, and the University's Bioethics Advisory Committee. She has been a visiting lecturer at law and medical schools in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany, and New Zealand. In 2006, she was a visiting professor of law at the University of California -- Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall).