Professor Michael Parker
B.Ed (Hons), MA, PhD
Ethox Centre Director and Professor of Bioethics
Michael Parker is Professor of Bioethics at the University of Oxford. He leads a programme of cross-disciplinary research focused on the identification and analysis of ethical problems presented by advances in genomics, data science, and global health. He has special interests in ethical questions relating to: collective action, individual responsibility, and the common good in infectious disease response, research, and preparedness; research in global health emergencies; global health justice; conceptions of consent, privacy and confidentiality in data-driven health systems; clinical, research, and public health uses of genomics and genetics; and the roles of commercial and industry partnerships in healthcare innovation.
Michael Parker's research is characterised by a commitment to the opportunities and challenges afforded by embedding ethics research into large scale biomedical science and healthcare innovations. As such, it often necessarily takes the form of methodological innovation across ethics and the humanities, and involves collaborative partnerships with scientists. Some examples include: the Malaria Genomics Epidemiology Network, the Wellcome Africa and Asia Programmes, the Oxford Big Data Institute, UK Biobank, and the 100,000 Genomes Project.
- Director of the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford (since 2004)
- Director Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (since 2017)
- Founding Co-Director (with Professor Jeffrey Kahn) of the Oxford-Johns Hopkins Global Infectious Disease Ethics Collaborative (GLIDE) (Since 2020)
- Director of the Global Health Bioethics Network together with partners at the Wellcome Africa and Asia Programmes in Vietnam, Malawi, Thailand, Kenya, and South Africa (since 2009)
- UK Genethics Forum. Established with Anneke Lucassen, Tara Clancy, and Angus Clarke. This is the United Kingdom’s national ethics forum for health professionals and genetics laboratory staff (since 2001)
Selected Current Advisory Board and Policy Roles
- WHO Ethics Working Group on 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) (2020 - )
- Chair of Ethics Advisory Board, Our Future Health (2021 -)
- Moral and Ethics Advisory Group, UK Department of Health and Social Care (2020 - )
- Ethics Advisor to UK Biobank (2011 - )
Selected Previous Advisory Board and Policy Roles
UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a number of SAGE subgroups (2020 - 22)
- Non-Executive Director, Genomics England (2013 – 22)
- Chair of Chief Medical Officer’s Ethics Advisory Group informing the establishment of the United Kingdom’s 100,000 Genomes Project (2012 – 2013)
- Chair of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on research in global health emergencies: ethical issues (2018 – 2020)
- Member of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on the collection, linking and use of data in biomedical research and health care: ethical issues (2013 – 2015)
- Member of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on the ethics of mitochondrial transfer (2011 – 2012)
- Member of Lord Warner’s Advisory Group on the future of Research Ethics Committees (2004-5) and the Academy of Medical Sciences Independent Working Party on the Regulation and Governance of Research Ethics (2010). Together, these led to major reform of the UK research ethics committee structure and the creation of the Health Research Authority
- Member of Ministerial Task Force on the Summary Care Record (2006)
- Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Bioethics (2001 – 2005)
The ethics of instantaneous contact tracing using mobile phone apps in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic
PARKER M. et al, (2020), Journal of Medical Ethics
Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19.
Emanuel EJ. et al, (2020), N Engl J Med
Using a genetic test result in the care of family members: How does the duty of confidentiality apply?
Parker M., (2018), European Journal of Human Genetics, 26, 955 - 959
Good and Bad Research Collaborations: Researchers' Views on Science and Ethics in Global Health Research.
Parker M. and Kingori P., (2016), PLoS One, 11
The ethics of sequencing infectious disease pathogens for clinical and public health.
Johnson SB. and Parker M., (2019), Nat Rev Genet, 20, 313 - 315
Managing expectations, rights, and duties in large-scale genomics initiatives: a European comparison.
Horn R. et al, (2022), Eur J Hum Genet, 1 - 6
Equitable Design and Use of Digital Surveillance Technologies During COVID-19: Norms and Concerns.
Pratt B. et al, (2022), J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics
Science in the time of COVID-19: Reflections on the UK Events Research Programme.
Marteau TM. et al, (2022), Nat Commun, 13
Optimising Exome Prenatal Sequencing Services (EXPRESS): a study protocol to evaluate rapid prenatal exome sequencing in the NHS Genomic Medicine Service
Hill M. et al, (2022), NIHR Open Research, 2, 10 - 10
A network of empirical ethics teams embedded in research programmes across multiple sites: opportunities and challenges in contributing to COVID-19 research and responses
Ngwenya N. et al, (2022)