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HeLEX specialises in investigating the relationships between law, ethics and practice in the area of emerging technologies in health.



The Centre specialises in investigating the relationships between law, ethics, and practice in the area of emerging technologies in health, and honing those relationships to facilitate effective translational outcomes. We investigate areas where new technologies are having a significant impact, such as the use of next generation sequencing technologies in the clinic and big data approaches in research. To address these complex issues we carry out interdisciplinary research drawing on tools from law, philosophy and the social sciences with the aim of improving or guiding evolving practice.

Research at HeLEX increases understanding of how the use and impact of innovative technologies in health can be accommodated within existing legal and governance frameworks, and the extent to which such frameworks may need to evolve.  Our research is embedded in scientific practice ranging from whole genome sequencing to stem cell development and biobanking.  We specialise in practical solutions, developing best practice and new forms of project governance by being integrated in cutting-edge scientific projects from conception to dissemination. Our advice is based upon evidence-based research, academic scholarship, ethical and legal analysis and experience and understanding of emerging trends in medical research. We use this research and knowledge to provide advice, support and teaching, and as a basis for input into policy deliberations.  Our current international research focuses on the governance of research infrastructures such as biobanks, information law, privacy, data-sharing frameworks, global governance, personalised medicine, and translational research.


We regularly host academic visitors here at HeLEX and value the opportunity to share research ideas. We welcome applications from students or academics to visit us and base their research at our offices here at Ewert House for any period from 1 to 12 weeks.

Please fill in the Academic Visitor Application Form and send to

Find out more.



Call for papers for our panel at the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) conference.

Deadline for abstracts : 14/02/18.


Successfully launched on 19th October 2017 - see our Melbourne page for more information.

Dr Carolyn Johnston recently commented on SBS regarding the Assisted Dying Bill in Victoria 22 November 2017:

Visit the University of Melbourne's HeLEX page


International Symposium on Genomics and Society last November.

ELSI 2.0 Webinars

Visit our ELSI 2.0 page to download ELSI 2.0 live webinars.


Our team

Recent Publications

Selected publications