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Kathleen Liddell

Kathleen Liddell

University Senior Lecturer; Director Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences


Kathy Liddell is the Herschel Smith Lecturer of Intellectual Property Law.

She is also the Founding Director of the Cambridge Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences, and Deputy Director of the Cambridge Centre for IP and Information Law.

Kathy undertook her doctorate in law at the University of Oxford focussing on the regulation of controversial genetic technologies in morally pluralist societies. In addition to substantial experience in academia, Dr Liddell has worked in private legal practice and in public sector legal services for a health department. This work history has provided her with a solid knowledge of commercial realities and needs, as well as experience in legal policymaking. She has degrees in law and science from the University of Melbourne  and bioethics from Monash University, and is a strong advocate of interdisciplinary research.

Dr Liddell’s research focuses on health, medicine and society, with the aim of understanding and improving the legal frameworks that govern and support innovation in this field. A key theme in her research is to examine ways in which intellectual property rights help and hinder the translation of medical discoveries into effective, affordable clinical treatments and diagnoses, and how such frameworks could be modified to be more effective and just. Another key theme in her research is to identify and address legal lacunae and 'pinch points'  that impede clinically useful and ethically responsible healthcare. A current example of this work is in the field of pre-mortem interventions to improve the success of DCD organ transplantation. Dr Liddell is also the principal investigator in a large research project examining intellectual property rights, precision medicine and genomic medicine. 

Dr Liddell uses a wide range of legal methodologies in her research including in-depth statutory and case law analysis, normative analysis drawing on moral and political philosophy, empirical investigations (including interviews, surveys and patent mapping), and expert meetings.

Dr Liddell teaches on a variety of courses including Law and Ethics of Medicine (tripos seminar); Law, Medicine and Life Sciences (LLM Paper 1); Intellectual Property (LLM Paper 12) and Intellectual Property (tripos Paper 45). She also supervises research theses at all levels includng doctoral students. 

Faculties and Departments

Faculty of Law: