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Emma Cave pictured against a blue banner

Professor Emma Cave, from Durham Law School, has been appointed to a working group set up by the UK’s foremost bioethics body, which will advise government on the ethics and regulation of research using stem cell based human embryo models.

Emma, an expert in medical law and ethics, will lead a new interdisciplinary Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) working group as nominated chair.

Advising government

The NCOB aims to embed ethics at the centre of decisions about biomedicine and health, to the benefit of all. To achieve this, it works to inform policy and public debate through identifying, analysing and advising on ethical issues raised by key developments in these areas.

The working group chaired by Emma will look at the regulation of new structures that model aspects of the human embryo.

This research could lead to new insights into the early stages of human development and potentially to new innovations to reduce miscarriages and better understand congenital diseases.

But the research also poses legal and ethical challenges which increase the more closely models mimic aspects of human development. 

The working group will undertake a rapid review of the ethical and regulatory issues and challenges of this fast-moving area of research and advise on next steps.

Expert in healthcare law

This appointment is one of many prestigious appointments for Emma, who has extensive expertise in healthcare law and medical ethics. 

She serves on the core expert panel of the UK Parliament Health and Social Care Committee and the ethics advisory group of the UK’s Covid-19 Inquiry.

Emma also recently chaired the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice advisory forum.

University student
Emma said: “I am delighted to take up this role and look forward to leading the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' work on this very important topic, which should help inform a proportionate approach to regulation in this highly complex and fast-moving area of science.”

Professor Emma Cave
Professor of Healthcare Law at Durham Law School

Find out more  

  • Professor Emma Cave is a member of Durham Law School, our Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (DurhamCELLS) and a Fellow of our Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. Find out more about Emma’s research and advisory roles. 
  • Learn more about the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
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