• Professor, College Of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Human Genetics
  • Professor, College Of Law


  • J.D., Law, Harvard Law School
  • B.S.E.E. and B.A., Electrical Engineering and English, Rice University


Jorge L. Contreras teaches and researches in the areas of intellectual property, property law, technical standardization, antitrust and science policy. In 2020 he received the University of Utah's Distinguished Research Award and is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  He has testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and was awarded the Rossman Memorial Award by the Patent & Trademark Office Society in 2022.

Professor Contreras has written or edited eleven books and published more than 100 scholarly articles and book chapters. His most recent book, The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA (NY: Hachette/Algonquin, 2021), has been praised by the NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Nature and numerous other outlets, and was named "Best Patent Law Book of the Year" by the international IPKat blog.  His scholarly articles have appeared in leading scientific, legal and policy journals including Science, Nature, ​NYU Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Iowa Law Review and Antitrust Law Journal. He has been quoted by media outlets around the world including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Korea Times and has been featured on C-SPAN, NPR, PRI and BBC shows and a range of podcasts and online news programs.

Professor Contreras currently serves Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Division of the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law and a member of the Advisory Board of the American Antitrust Institute. He has previously served as Co-Chair of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Intellectual Property Management in Standard-Setting Processes, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the Advisory Council of NIH's National Center for the Advancement of Translational Sciences (NCATS), the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, and the Intellectual Property Rights Policy Committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

Professor Contreras has previously taught at American University Washington College of Law and Washington University in St. Louis, and was a partner at the international law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where he practiced transactional and intellectual property law in Boston, London and Washington DC. He is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School (JD) and Rice University (BA, BSEE) and clerked for Chief Justice Thomas R. Philips of the Texas Supreme Court.