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The Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies was established in Oxford by Professor Jane Kaye in 2009. Our socio-legal research focuses on how the development and application of innovative technologies in health – such as genomics, stem cell research and CRISPR-mediated genetic modification – can be accommodated within existing legal and regulatory frameworks, and how far such frameworks may need to evolve. By being integrated in scientific projects from conception to dissemination, we can keep pace with current developments in cutting-edge science and develop practical solutions based on sound empirical and legal scholarship.
This year sees the establishment of HeLEX@Melbourne, a new research team focusing on health, law and emerging technologies at Melbourne Law School. This team focuses on issues such as consent, privacy and sharing of digital health data and human tissue samples, especially in relation to the new Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. We now have 15 members of staff and several PhD students across our Melbourne and Oxford offices. The team has an outstanding track record in high-impact research, international collaboration, involvement in policy making, peer-reviewed publications and grants.


Our research is interdisciplinary, using tools and methods of investigation and analysis from law and the social sciences. Working alongside scientists enables us to take our academic scholarship and apply it in a testing environment leading to the development of ethical and lawful best practice. By combining the results of these investigations, we can generate insights for more effective policy making. Recommendations developed from our research are legally compliant, based on sound ethical principles and grounded in an understanding of current practice.

Current projects

Current work includes projects on biomodifying technologies, governance of health data in cyberspace, turning the waiting room into a knowledge centre and dynamic consent.


Staff of HeLEX@Melbourne


Prof Jane Kaye

DPhil (2004), LLB (Hons) (1993), BA (1985)
Prof Jane Kaye is the Director of the Centre for Law, Health and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) at the University of Oxford. She is also a Professor at Melbourne Law School, Australia, where in 2017 she is establishing HeLEX@Melbourne. She was admitted to practice as a solicitor/barrister in 1997. Her research focuses on the relationships between law, governance and best practice in the context of data protection and privacy law, Dynamic Consent, biobanks, genomics, data-sharing frameworks, global governance and translational research. Prof Kaye has obtained approximately £6.5m in grant funding from Australian, European and UK funding bodies. Since 2000, she has published 2 books and 105 articles. She has supervised 7 DPhil students and 3 Masters students and over 25 postdocs.

Dr Carolyn Johnston

PhD (2011), MA (1998), LLM (1988), LLB (1982)
Dr Carolyn Johnston will join HeLEX@Melbourne in January as a Senior Research Fellow. She is currently employed as a lecturer in Health Ethics, Law and Professionalism at Deakin University in Melbourne, and was previously Adviser Medical Law & Ethics, King’s College London, Guy’s King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medical Education and Senior Lecturer Kingston University, Law School.

Dr Mark Taylor

PhD (2003), MA (1999), LLB (Hons) (1994)
Dr Mark Taylor is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield but will be moving to Melbourne Law School as Deputy Director of HeLEX@Melbourne in January 2018. His research interests include the regulation of personal information with particular emphasis upon health information and the common law duty of confidence and the Data Protection Act 1998.

Dr Jessica Bell

PhD (2016), MA (2010); LLB Hons (2009)
Dr Jessica Bell is a Research Fellow at HeLEX@Melbourne working to build collaborations between the Melbourne Law School and the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. Jessica provides research and policy advice on topics such as privacy and data protection; the regulation and governance of emerging technologies and genomics; and the use of digital technologies for translational research.

Dr Harriet Teare

DPhil (2009), MChem (2005)
Dr Harriet Teare is Deputy Director of HeLEX@Oxford and is now in Melbourne helping to establish the Melbourne office. Her research explores how research findings are translated to patient benefit; the influence this has on the wider healthcare system, and the role of patients in research and clinical care.

Dr Megan Prictor

LLB Hons (2014), PhD (2000), MMus (1997), BMus Hons (1994)
Dr Megan Prictor joined HeLEX@Melbourne in July as a Research Fellow, from the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in the Victorian government. She was admitted to practice in the Victorian Supreme Court in 2017. She was previously a Managing Editor with the Cochrane Collaboration, responsible for high-quality systematic reviews of research in patient and public engagement, informed consent, doctor-patient communication and shared decision-making.