Professor Michael Parker

Professor Michael Parker

Research groups

Michael Parker

B.Ed (Hons), MA, PhD


Centre Director

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.

Leadership roles

Selected Current Advisory Board and Policy Roles

  • UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a number of SAGE subgroups (2020 - )
  • WHO Ethics Working Group on 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) (2020 - )
  • Chair of Ethics Advisory Committee, Genomics England (2013 – )
  • Non-Executive Director, Genomics England (2013 – )
  • Chair of Ethics Advisory Board, Our Future Health (2021 -)
  • Moral and Ethics Advisory Group, UK Department of Health and Social Care (2020 - )
  • Data Sharing and Ethics Group, International Common Diseases Alliance (2019 - )
  • Ethics Advisor to UK Biobank (2011 - )

Selected Previous Advisory Board and Policy Roles

  • 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)

Key publications

Recent publications

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