Tess Whitton is a PhD Student at HeLEX@Melbourne based at the Melbourne Law School. Her PhD project is an adaptive governance investigation of Australian and global governance approaches to human genome editing. Broadly Tess’s work focuses on the supportive role of law to foster trustworthy regulation, maintain social trust in governance, and encourage health innovation. These processes are supported by inclusive and participatory governance mechanisms and initiatives. By its nature, the work sits across a number of disciplines and Tess brings her expertise in law and governance to this broader conversation.

Tess’s published works cross a variety of health governance areas and considerations of trustworthy governance. Her most recent publications concern the impact of private material transfer agreements on access to biomaterials for research in Australia (with Jane Nielsen and Dianne Nicol published in Journal of Law and Medicine); and ‘Public interest, health research and data protection law: Establishing a legitimate trade-off between individual control and research access to health data’ (with Mark Taylor published in Laws). She has recently presented on the methodological approach of adaptive governance and, adaptive governance as a solution to the limits of Australian data law. She has also written on health governance in the areas of biobanking, the impact of commercialisation on biobanks, public consultation in biobanking, and the impact of genomic patents on diagnostic testing.

She is enthusiastic about the future and role of law to support socially legitimate health innovation.