Centre for Law and Genetics

Dianne Nicol

Director of the CLG

Phone: +61 3 6226 7553

Email: Dianne.Nicol@utas.edu.au


Professor Dianne Nicol is the current Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics. She was a deputy-director at the creation of the CLG until early 2015, when she took on the directorship. She is the project leader on the ARC funded Personalised Medicine Project and on all patent work. At the CLG she has hosted two expert workshops: biotechnology patenting and innovation (2011) and personalised medicine (2014).

Professor Nicol has a unique capacity to marry empirical research with law and policy reform in areas of new and emergent technology. She is an extremely active researcher, has made 18 submissions to government inquiries in the last ten years and given oral testimony to inquiries on many occasions.

  • Her research on the Australian medical biotechnology industry remains one of the few sources of evidence to assist policy makers in that area.
  • She co-authored the Pharmaceutical Patents Review Report 2013 (commissioned by the Federal government)
  • Alongside CLG researchers, Professors Otlowski and Chalmers, she drafted the Biobanks Information Paper (commissioned by the NHMRC) in 2010, which is the most authoritative guidelines that exist in that area in Australia.
  • The research Professor Nicol has completed work (with Dr Critchley) on public attitudes towards, and public trust in, genomics and personalised medicine that provides a vital contribution to the evidence base for reform of the framework for regulating the new and rapidly developing area of medical technology .

She regularly presents at small expert forums worldwide. In the past ten years she has been invited to attend more than 14 fully funded workshops in Canada, the US, UK, Italy and Australia.

These specialist meetings are able to directly influence the development of policy and practice and as well as resulting in publications have very tangible outcomes (eg. Hinxton Consensus Statement on Policies and Practices Governing Data and Materials Sharing and Intellectual Property in Stem Cell Science, 24 January 2011).

In addition to publishing in academic journals and books, she has used the CLGs Occasional paper series to publish her findings in greater detail. These papers are highly cited, with her first report (co-authored with Dr Nielsen) cited by law reform inquiries and was referred to in the explanatory memorandum to the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2012. Her ARC funded project on Patent Pooling (with CIs Drs Jane Nielsen and Christine Critchley) was recently completed (2014) and is reported in the Occasional Paper No. 0.8.

Research Interests

Patents; gene patens; collaborative licensing strategies; commercialisation of biomedicine; governance of biobanking; public trust; commercialisation and benefit sharing; biotechnology and 3D printing.

Past Projects

Future research 

  • 3D Printing
  • Patenting and Biotechnology
  • Governance of New Technologies