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Professor Michael Parker

Professor Michael Parker

Michael Parker

B.Ed (Hons), MA, PhD


Ethox Centre Director and Professor of Bioethics

Michael Parker is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford. He leads a programme of cross-disciplinary research focused on the identification and analysis of ethical problems presented by advances in genomics, data science, and global health. He has particular theoretical and methodological interests in moral disagreement and value pluralism.

Much of this work takes place in the context of multidisciplinary collaborations. These include: the Global Health Bioethics Network; the Oxford-Johns Hopkins Global Infectious Disease Ethics Collaboration (GLIDE); ANTITHESES: the Discovery Platform for Transformative Inclusivity in Ethics and Humanities Research; the Genethics Forum; and Oxford Ethics and Humanities.

An important strand of Michael's research is characterised by a commitment to engaging with the opportunities and challenges arising from the integration of ethics research into large-scale biomedical science and healthcare innovations. As such, it often involves collaborative partnerships with scientists. Some examples of include: the Oxford Pandemic Sciences Institute, the Malaria Genomics Epidemiology Network, the Wellcome Africa and Asia Programmes, the Oxford Big Data Institute, UK Biobank, and the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Leadership roles

Selected Current Advisory Board and Policy Roles

  • WHO Ethics Working Group on 2019-nCoV (coronavirus) (2020 - )
  • Chair of Ethics Advisory Board, Our Future Health (2021 -)
  • Cancer Research UK Research Data Advisory Board (2022 - )
  • Ethics Advisor to UK Biobank (2011 - )

Selected Previous Advisory Board and Policy Roles

  • UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a number of SAGE subgroups (2020 - 22)

  • Non-Executive Director, Genomics England (2013 – 22)
  • Chair of Chief Medical Officer’s Ethics Advisory Group informing the establishment of the United Kingdom’s 100,000 Genomes Project (2012 – 2013)
  • Chair of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on research in global health emergencies: ethical issues (2018 – 2020)
  • Member of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on the collection, linking and use of data in biomedical research and health care: ethical issues (2013 – 2015)
  • Member of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on the ethics of mitochondrial transfer (2011 – 2012)
  • Member of Lord Warner’s Advisory Group on the future of Research Ethics Committees (2004-5) and the Academy of Medical Sciences Independent Working Party on the Regulation and Governance of Research Ethics (2010). Together, these led to major reform of the UK research ethics committee structure and the creation of the Health Research Authority
  • Member of Ministerial Task Force on the Summary Care Record (2006)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Bioethics (2001 – 2005)