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Dr Jeffrey M. Skopek's picture


Faculty Contact Details

Room: T12A

Tel: 01223 330027

AB (Stanford), PhD MPhil (Cantab), JD (Harvard)
University Lecturer

CV / Biography

Dr. Jeffrey Skopek is a University Lecturer in the Faculty of Law and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences.  His research explores the normative and conceptual foundations of medical law, focusing in particular on controversies about the harms and benefits that are generated by medical treatment, health care systems, and biomedical research.   He has recently completed several projects on privacy and anonymity and is currently working on: liability for harms caused by the use of artificial intelligence in health care; access to precision medicine in the NHS; and the painless killing of animals in research.   

He has served on the Health and Social Care Advisory Panel for the UK government's Centre for Digital Ethics and Innovation and on Astra Zeneca's Animal Welfare Ethics Review Board.   He is also an Associate Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. 

He previously taught at Harvard Law School, where he was a research fellow at the Petrie-Flom Centre for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics. During this time, he wrote extensively on anonymity, differentiating it from privacy in articles that reveal its importance both as a tool in the production of wide range of public goods and as a right that can be invoked against new technologies of genetic identification and surveillance. He has also published on the history and philosophy of genetics, animal rights, and environmental ethics.

Prior to entering academia, he served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has been awarded Fulbright, Gates, and Truman Scholarships and holds a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. in History (with distinction) from Stanford University.



Wellcome Trust: Principal Investigator on a £78k grant to evaluate how liability could and should be assigned when patients are harmed by the use of machine learning algorithms in healthcare.

Novo Nordisk Foundation: Co-Investigator on a £650k award within a £4.2m grant funding a collaboration between Cambridge, Copenhagen, Harvard, and Michigan on biomedical innovation law.

THIS Institute: Co-Principal Investigator on a £187k award to explore how the law of negligence shapes the development and communication of medical diagnoses and whether the law should be reformed.



“Untangling Privacy: Losses Versus Violations” 105 Iowa Law Review __ (forthcoming 2020).

"Who gets the ventilator? Important Legal Rights in a Pandemic" 46 Journal of Medical Ethics 421-426 (2020) (co-authored with K Liddell, S Palmer, S Martin, J Anderson, A Sanger)

“Big Data’s Epistemology and its Implications for Precision Medicine and Privacy” in I. G. Cohen, H. F. Lynch, E. Vayena, U. Gasser (eds.), Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics (Cambridge University Press 2018), pp. 30-41.    

“Informed Consent in Research Using Biospecimens, Genetic Information and Other Personal Data” in eLS (John Wiley & Sons 2018) (co-authored with Kathy Liddell), pp. 1-10.

“A Theory of Anonymity” in A. Kesselheim and C. Robertson (eds.), Blinding as a Solution to Bias: Strengthening Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Law (Elsevier 2016), pp. 249-64.

“Reasonable Expectations of Anonymity” (2015) 101 Virginia Law Review 691-762.

“Specimens, Data, and Privacy: Introduction” in G. Cohen & H. Lynch (eds.), Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future (MIT Press 2014), pp. 189-192. 

“Anonymity, the Production of Goods, and Institutional Design” (2014) 82 Fordham Law Review 1751-1809.

“Principles, Exemplars, and Uses of History in Twentieth Century Genetics” (2011) 42 Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 210-25.

Uncommon Goods: On Environmental Virtues and Voluntary Carbon Offsets” (2010) 123 Harvard Law Review 2065-87.

“Developments in the Law—Access to Courts: Animal Rights, Aesthetic Injuries, and Anthropomorphism” (2009) 122 Harvard Law Review 1204-16.

Works in Progress

“The Fragmentation of Precision Medicine: Solidarity and Fairness in the NHS”

“Should Anonymisation Extinguish Patients’ Control over their Health Data?”

“The Harm of Painless Death in Animal Research”

Book Reviews

 “Persons, Parts and Property (Goold, Greasley, Herring & Skene, eds., Oxford University Press)” (2015) 74 Cambridge Law Journal 375-379.

 “Philosophical Foundation of Law and Neuroscience (Patterson & Pardo, eds., Oxford University Press),” (2017) 76 Cambridge Law Journal 441-43.