Dianne Nicol

Centre for Law and Genetics, Tasmania


Dianne Nicol is a Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics. Professor Nicol was Chair of Academic Senate at the University of Tasmania between 2013 and 2019, and took on the role of acting Provost between November 2017 and June 2018. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the High Court of Australia in 1998 and spent some time in legal practice. Her research history includes both law and science.

Her current research focuses primarily on the regulation of personalized medicine, biobanking, genome editing and other emerging technologies, together with commercialisation of biotechnology and patenting of biotechnological inventions. Professor Nicol is currently the lead chief investigator on two Australian Research Council funded projects: Genomic Data Sharing: Issues in Law, Research Ethics and Society; and Reforming the Regulatory Environment for Innovative Health Technologies.


Dianne began her academic career as a scientist, receiving a PhD from Dalhousie University in Canada in 1987. Her research interests at the time focused on cell and developmental biology, with particular focus on the development of simple nervous systems. Dianne subsequently re-trained in law, graduating with a research-based LLM in 1997. The title of her thesis was: Patenting of Human Genetic Material in Australia. She commenced work as an academic at the University of Tasmania in 2000 and was appointed as Professor in 2009.

Dianne's teaching focuses on primarily on the interface between technology and the law, with particular focus on intellectual property law. Her research interests are closely aligned with her teaching interests. She has served as Deputy Dean of the Law Faculty and Associate Dean, Research. In January 2013 Dianne took on the role of Chair of Academic Senate at the University of Tasmania, and in February 2015 became the Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics, after having served as one of the Deputy Directors since the inception of the Centre in 1994.

Profile page