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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)
Associate Professor

CV / Biography

Jeff Skopek is an Associate Professor with tenure 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 health law, focusing in particular on controversies about what constitutes a harm/benefit within medical care, the health care system, and biomedical research.   He has recently completed several projects on privacy and anonymity and is currently working on: 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 Astra Zeneca's Animal Welfare Ethics Review Board and the Health and Social Care Advisory Panel for the UK government's Centre for Digital Ethics.  He is also an Associate Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. 

He was previously 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: PI on a £78k project to evaluate how liability could and should be assigned when patients are harmed by the use of machine learning algorithms in healthcare.

Wellcome Trust ISSF:  Co-PI on a £175k project (co-funded by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund at the School of Clinical Medicine and a philanthropic donation) to evaluate the legal, regulatory, and ethical frameworks at the frontiers of medical device and drug regulation.  

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

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


“Untangling Privacy: Losses Versus Violations” 105 Iowa Law Review 2169 (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 Harm of Painless Death in Animal Research”

"What Difference Does it Make? 'Black Box' Medicine and the Law"

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


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.