Edinburgh Research Explorer

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Interested in all proposals relating to medical law and ethics, especially health research regulation, privacy, and legal responses to advances in genetics and genomics. Watch out for regular partial PhD scholarships via our McLagan Fund, administered by the Mason Institute (see above).

Professional Qualifications


Area of Expertise

Research expertisemedical law, medical ethics, health research, regulation, privacy


Graeme Laurie is Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh and Founding Director of the JK Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law. He is the holder of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award and Principal Investigator for a project entitled Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation. This is a £1 million, five-year, interdisciplinary project running from October 2014 until September 2019. You can follow more details of the project here: @LiminalSpacesWT.

Graeme Laurie served as the Director of Research for the School of Law (2011-2014). He previously held the role of PI and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law - also known as SCRIPT - from 2007-2011 until he took up the position of Director of Research.

Current Research Interests

His research interests include the role of law in promoting and regulating science, medicine and technology. He has been involved in numerous successful collaborative bids with groups of law and non-law colleagues, including clinicians, geneticists and medical social scientists, to the total value of c.£15 million. These include: AHRC/SCRIPT Phase 1 c.£1 million (2002-2007); ESRC Innogen Phase 1 c.£1.9 million (2002-2007); Generation Scotland [SHEFC] c.£1.8 million (2003-2008); AHRC/SCRIPT Phase 2 c.£1.5 million (2007-2012); ESRC Innogen Phase 2 c.£2.5 million (2007-2014); Wellcome Trust Scottish Health Informatics Programme - SHIP consortium c.£3.6 million (2009-2014); and MRC/WT et al. Farr Institute, c.£4 million (2013-2018). The total sums directly attributable to Edinburgh Law School are in excess of £4 million. The focus of these collaborative efforts has always been legal and ethical dimensions of medical and scientific developments, with particular emphasis on the responsible promotion of medical science. 

In addition to the Wellcome Trust Liminal Spaces Project, Graeme Laurie is currently involved in three other externally-funded initiatives:

- EU Commission's Innovative Medicines Initiative on stem cell banking: EBiSC (2014-2017)

- ESRC Administrative Data Research Centres: ADRC Scotland (2013-2018)

- 10-funder consortium on data linkage for health research: Farr Institute (2013-2018)

Collaborative Activity

In policy terms, Graeme Laurie was the Chair of the permanent UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council from 2006-2010 and Chair of the Privacy Advisory Committee in Scotland from 2005-2013. He served as the Founding President of the European Association of Health Law from 2008-2013. He has also held membership of a number of external professional and policy bodies including the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, both from 2009-2015. He served as a member of the Royal Society Working Group on Science as an Open Enterprise (2011-12), and the Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Timely Access to Health and Social Data for Health Research and Health System Innovation (2014-2015). He was the UK representative on the Council of Europe Expert Group on the revision of Recommendation 2006(4) on research on biological materials of human origin (2012-2016), which led to the adoption of a new Recommendation in May 2016. 

Also in 2016, in June, Edinburgh hosted the 13th World Congress of the International Association of Bioethics. Graeme Laurie was the Chair of the UK Organising Committee, working with professional conference organiser, Conference Partners, and the host venue the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The theme of the Congress was Individuals, Public Interests and Public Goods: What is the Contribution of Bioethics?  The IAB2016 event had a particular focus on early career researchers and art+ethics. It attracted over 700 delegates from 44 countries and more details of the legacy can be found on the website here.

Graeme Laurie is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press monograph series on Bioethics and Law (with Richard Ashcroft, QMUL). He is also a member of the editorial teams of the European Journal of Health Law, Medical Law International, Law, Innovation & Technology,  International Journal of Population Data Science, and the SCRIPT Centre's own online journal SCRIPT-ed.


Research activities & awards

  1. HeLEX 5th Anniversary Conference: Translation in Healthcare

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  2. Global Alliance 3rd Annual Meeting

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  3. Global Alliance for Genomics 3rd Annual Meeting

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

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