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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

The 2022 Baron de Lancey Lecture - Re-engineering the Regulation of Regenerative Medicine?

Prof. Bartha Maria Knoppers - Centre for Genomics and Policy, McGill University

Regenerative medicine seeks to regrow, repair, or replace damaged tissues. Current regenerative technologies include the bio-engineering of organs and tissues, cell reprogramming, and gene editing. Such interventions are significant not only for present-day patients, but also for future generations. They challenge the concept of the self as ‘biologically finite’ or ‘genetically determined’ and blur traditional distinctions between therapy and enhancement and between humans, animals, and things.

Given the ways in which regenerative medicine blurs socially-significant boundaries, the ethical and legal obligations of clinicians, researchers, funders, and governments are fluid and uncertain. For example, it is unclear whether present policies governing the use of regenerative technologies offer sufficient safeguards, even if access is limited to patients with conditions deemed sufficiently serious to justify the risks.

This talk will explore whether international human rights law might require governments to identify, monitor, and support translational pathways that would provide broad, equitable access to the benefits of regenerative medicine, or whether international human rights law requires a more controlled approach because of the potential social implications. With regenerative medicine's great potential, the welfare of current and future generations is at stake. We must collectively ask ourselves how best to secure a desirable clinical future for present day and future generations.

About the Speaker:

Bartha Maria Knoppers is Full Professor, Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine, and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University.

Further Information:


This will be a 'hybrid' event. A limited number of in-person tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis. All other attendees will be able to watch the lecture live online.


The lecture will begin promptly at 17:30. Please arrive or log into the web platform in good time. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A.


Lecture theatre LG19, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge (in-person attendees) 

Zoom (online attendees)

Questions and Contact Details

For more information about the Center for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences, as well as the Baron de Lancey Lectures, click here. For questions, please email us at

The Baron de Lancey Lecture series is kindly supported by the Ver Heyden de Lancey Fund.

Thursday, 10 March, 2022 - 17:30
Event location: 
LG19, Faculty of Law / Online