Information Header

Some information goes here

This box will hide on Careers page (disable by jQuery in navtop)

Contact Information

debra.lappin@FaegreBD.com1050 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001
T: +1 202 312 7496
F: +1 202 312 7441


University of Denver College of Law
J.D. (1977)
University of Denver
B.A., magna cum laude (1972)
Meet Debra Lappin

Debra R. Lappin


Debra Lappin is recognized across government, academic and nonprofit sectors as a public servant and leading strategist in public health and science policy. She consults on innovative public-private partnerships, collaborative research and development agreements, and other alliances to drive research translation and commercialization, advance policy agendas, and promote public health.

Health & Biosciences

Debra's practice focuses on the influential role of nonprofit and academic organizations as partners with government and industry to accelerate the movement of basic research into early phase clinical development. She advises on strategies to align stakeholders, develop cross-sector engagements to approach a policy, market or product challenge, and drive measurable solutions that will serve a client's mission and business purposes. 

Debra has special expertise in advising on technologies that enable translation, such as disease registries, large integrated databases, bio-specimen repositories and cross-institution affiliations to share data. Debra's leadership in this sector includes campaigns on public access to scientific communications and genetic non-discrimination and the development of an NIH Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to move a repurposed drug forward in the treatment of rare blood cancer. She has also been instrumental in the formation of coalitions to meet emerging public health threats, such as those posed by the rise in viral hepatitis and the incidences of unsafe injection practices across health care delivery settings.

National Institutes of Health and Center for Disease Control

Debra serves or has served as an advisor to the leaders of federal health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. She has participated on a number of committees at the National Academy of Sciences, including the Committee on the Organizational Structure of the NIH that led to a number of reforms now institutionalized at NIH. Debra is President of the Council for American Medical Innovation and a member of the Board of Research! America.

Calling upon her experiences as former national chair of the Arthritis Foundation, Debra is a recognized national spokesperson on public engagement and patient-centricity in science and medicine. 

Faculty Positions

  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center — Department of Medicine, Adjunct Faculty

Professional Associations

  • Council for American Medical Innovation — President
  • Research!America — Board Member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Advisory Committee to the Director
  • National Library of Medicine PubMed Central Advisory Committee — Member
  • National Institutes of Health Counsel of Public Representatives — Charter Member
  • Institute of Medicine Committee on National Immunization Policy Data Sharing — Member
  • Committee on the Organizational Structure of the NIH — Member
  • The Arthritis Foundation — Trustee Emeritus
  • Faegre Baker Daniels and FaegreBD Consulting Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group


  • Winning in Washington: When Your "Legal" Problem Requires a D.C. Playbook
    Panelist, National Association of Women Lawyers Ninth Annual General Counsel Institute, November 8, 2013
  • Promoting Basic Research in a New Age of Communications: Challenges and Opportunities
    Moderator, Research Matters Communications Workshop, Research!America, October 9, 2013
  • Buttressing an Innovation Culture
    Panelist, National Health Research Forum, Research!America, September 12, 2013
  • Advancing New Horizons: Focusing on Collaboration and Public-Private Partnerships
    Panelist, Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum, Glaucoma Research Foundation, San Francisco, February 1, 2013
  • Clinical Utility and Patient Centricity
    Austen BioInnovation Institute, Akron, Ohio, April 23, 2012
  • Medical Innovation at a Crossroads: A National Discussion
    Moderator, The Newseum, Washington, D.C., January 12, 2011
  • Designing Innovative Medical Research Systems
    Moderator, Milken Institute Global Conference, Los Angeles, April 26, 2010
    [ View the Video ]
  • Medical Innovation and U.S. Health Care Reform: In concert or At Odds?
    Moderator, Israel Life Sciences Institute, Tel Aviv, June 2010
  • Enhancing the Vitality of the National Institutes of Health
    Inaugural Meeting of the NIH Scientific Management and Review Board, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, April 27, 2009
  • Science in the Service of the Economy and America's Health
    Podcast, Research!America National Forum, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2009
  • The 21st Century Patient — A New Partnership With the Biomedical Enterprise
    Joseph Leiter Lecture, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, May 14, 2008