Adam R. Houston

Associate faculty

Humanitarian Studies

Adam’s interests lie at the intersection of health, human rights and global development, with an emphasis on law and policy. His focuses include global health governance, infectious disease law and policy, and access to medicines. Of particular interest is the application of global health principles (e.g., the human right to health) in high-income states.


Adam has lived and worked across Canada and around the world with organizations like the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, Avocats sans frontières Canada and with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti in their litigation against the United Nations over the Haitian cholera epidemic. He currently serves as medical policy/advocacy officer for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Canada.


PhD(c) (Law)

University of Ottawa

LL.M (Health Law - Global Health & Justice)

University of Washington

MA in Global Development Studies

Queen's University

Juris Doctor

University of Victoria

Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Psychology

University of Alberta


Houston, Adam R & Srinivas Murthy, “Canada is no global health leader on COVID-19 vaccine equity” (2021) 397:10287 The Lancet 1803, online: <>.

Houston, Adam R, “Applying Lessons from the Past in Haiti: Cholera, Scientific Knowledge, and the Longest-Standing Principle of International Health Law” in Mark Eccleston-Turner & Iain Brassington, eds, Infectious Diseases in the New Millennium International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020).

Houston, Adam R, Amelia Howard & David Sweanor, “Placing the Legal Vape Market in the Hands of Big Tobacco” (2020) 110:6 Am J Public Health 781–782, online: <>.

Lee, Angela & Adam R Houston, “Diets, Diseases, and Discourse: Lessons from COVID-19 for Trade in Wildlife, Public Health, and Food Systems Reform” (2020) 5:1–2 Food ethics 17, online: <>.

Houston, Adam R & Jason W Nickerson, “Lessons from the Interagency Emergency Health Kit for access to essential medicines in Canada” (2019) 4:1 Int J Humanitarian Action 2, online: <>.

Houston, Adam R, “Rights in isolation: Lessons on public health and human rights from leprosy and HIV in the Pacific Islands” in Quataert, Jean H & Lora Wildenthal, The Routledge History of Human Rights, 1st ed, Jean Quataert & Lora Wildenthal, eds (Routledge, 2019).

Houston, Adam R, Ryan Cooper & Faiz Ahmad Khan, “Responsible use of rifampin in Canada is threatened by irresponsible shortages” (2019) 191:41 CMAJ E1139–E1139, online: <>.

Houston, Adam R & Reed F Beall, “Could the Paragraph 6 Compulsory License System be Revised to Increase Participation by the Generics Industry? Lessons Learned from an Unheralded and Unsuccessful Attempt to Use Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime” (2019) 12:2 McGill Journal of Law and Health 227–246.

Houston, Adam R & Amir Attaran, “Frontier injustice: the American threat to Canada’s drug supply” (2019) 110:5 Can J Public Health 551–553, online: <>.

Houston, Adam R, “The Consumption of Ideas: Tuberculosis, the Constitutions of Canada and South Africa, and the Progressive Development of Human Rights Instruments” (2018) 44:1 Queen’s Law Journal.

Houston, Adam R et al, “Reforming Canada’s Special Access Programme (SAP) to improve access to off-patent essential medicines” (2018) 3:2 Official Journal of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada 100–107, online: <>.

Houston, Adam, “UNstoppable: How Advocates Persevered in the Fight for Justice for Haitian Cholera Victims” (2017) 19:1 Health Hum Rights 299–304.

Houston, Adam R, Reed F Beall & Amir Attaran, “Upstream solutions for price-gouging on critical generic medicines” (2016) 9:1 J of Pharm Policy and Pract 15, online: <>.

Sweanor, David & Adam R Houston, “Rethinking Nicotine: The Role of Public Health Law in Ending an Epidemic” (2016) 47:2 Ottawa Law Review.

Houston, Adam, “A Scientific Approach to Intellectual Property and Health: Innovation, Access, and a Forgotten Corner of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (2014) 13:4 John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law 794–818.