Dr Kathy Liddell joined the Faculty of Law in 2003, taking up a tenured post in 2005. She completed her doctorate in law at the University of Oxford, following Bachelors of Law and Science at the University of Melbourne, and a Masters of Bioethics at Monash University. She also worked in private practice and legal policy development before focusing on an academic career.


Dr Kathy Liddell’s research focuses on biotechnology and bio-information, with the aim of understanding and improving the legal frameworks that govern this field. This task has taken on special significance over the past two decades as advances in biotechnology, medicine and information technology have dramatically increased the storage and use of human bodies, organs, tissues, and DNA.

As part of her research, she examines laws that limit or control the development of medicine and biotechnology, and those that facilitate it. This includes information law (primarily trade secrets, confidentiality and data protection), patent law, tort law, the Clinical Trials Directive and other legislation and common law affecting medical research and technology. The research is informed by interdisciplinary perspectives, and where appropriate contributes to practical policy developments


Key publications:
  • K Liddell, ‘Realising Genomic Medicine: Intellectual Property Issues’, Workshop Report, 2015
  • K Liddell, ‘Immorality and Patents: the exclusion of patents contrary to ordre public and morality’ in A Lever (ed), New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property (Cambridge CUP 2012) 140.
  • S Gaisser, M Hopkins, K Liddell, E Zika, D Ibarreta, ‘The phantom menace of gene patents’ (2009) 458 (7237) Nature 407-9
  • K Liddell, S Hogarth, D Melzer, R Zimmern, ‘Patents as Incentives for Translational and Evaluative Research: the case of genetic tests and their improved clinical performance’ (2008) 3 Intellectual Property Quarterly 286-327
Other publications:
  • K Liddell, ‘Human Bodies in Medicine and Research: Regulatory frameworks and their impact: a comparative report on the literature’. A Report for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics for use in its report on Human Bodies in Medicine and Research (working paper, 2011)
  • K Liddell, ‘The Health Impact Fund: A Critique’ in T Pogge, M Rimmer, K Rubenstein Incentives for Global Health (Cambridge University Press 2010)
  • J McMillan, O Corrigan, K Liddell, M Richards, C Weijer (eds), The Limits of Consent (Oxford University Press 2009)
  • K Liddell, J Bion, D Chamberlain, C Druml, E Kompanje, F Lemaire, D Menon, B Vhrovac, C Wiederman, ‘Medical Research Involving Incapacitated Adults: Implications of the EU Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC’ (2006) 14 Medical Law Review 367-417
  • K Liddell ‘Legal and Governance Framework’, prepared for Academy of Medical Sciences, Personal Data for Public Good: Using Health Information in Medical Research’ (AMS London 2006) pp 21-43
  • S Hogarth, K Liddell, T Ling, D Melzer, S Sanderson, R Zimmern, Regulating Pharmacogenomics: An overview of developments in various countries and industry response to regulatory initiatives: A report for Health Canada (Health Canada Ottawa 2006)
  • K Liddell and A Hall, ‘Beyond Bristol and Alder Hey: The Future Regulation of Human Tissue’ (2005) 13(2) Medical Law Review


Social Science Research for the 21st Century - Progress through Partnership

Email: philomathia@admin.cam.ac.uk