Ganguli Mitra and McMillan Join Liminal Spaces

Image of Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra and Catriona McMillan

Prof Graeme Laurie’s Wellcome Trust Liminal Spaces Project officially began in October 2015. The project brings together a team of anthropologists, sociologists, ethicists and lawyers with a range of stakeholders and regulators to examine the liminal spaces of the regulatory landscape.

The Mason Institute is pleased to welcome on-board the projects first research fellows – Ms Catriona McMillan and Dr Agomoni Ganguli Mitra. We’ve invited them to tell us a little bit about themselves.

Agomoni Ganguli Mitra
It was during my college years as a biology student in London that I discovered a passion for the ethical and social aspects of science and medicine. And so I promptly discarded my lab coat and safety glasses for texts in bioethics and philosophy. This led me to various projects on the ethics of biobanks, synthetic biology and clinical research, first as an intern at the WHO and the Charité Medical School in Berlin, and finally at the University of Zurich, where I completed my PhD in biomedical ethics and law. My dissertation explored the concepts of exploitation and vulnerability in off-shored clinical trials, using the lens of global justice. It was this focus that then led me to my post-doctoral project on global gender justice at the University of Muenster.

It is my long-standing interest in research ethics that brings me to the Liminal Spaces project, where I will explore the concept of liminality in research ethics and governance, as well as the gaps and overlaps in the ethics and regulatory landscapes. It is the ambitious nature of the project—looking at the regulatory landscape as a whole, from stem cells to data storage to clinical trials—that I find particularly challenging and interesting, not to mention timely. I also look forward to working within an interdisciplinary team and to gaining an insight into the social, legal and anthropological expertise in the area.

Beyond my work on research ethics and regulation, I continue to work on global ethics and various topics in gender justice, with a current focus on the ethics of sex-selection.

Catriona McMillan
Catriona (Katy) graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Glasgow in 2013 and then went on to complete her Master of Laws at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2014. She specialised in medical law and jurisprudence throughout her studies, with a particular interest in issues relating to human reproduction and the law. Her Masters dissertation focused on the issue of genetic identity in regulating for new reproductive technologies in light of the recent proposals to legalise mitochondrial replacement therapy in the United Kingdom.

In October 2014, she joined the Liminal Spaces project as a research assistant, for which she undertook initial research scoping some of the legal hurdles and challenges present in the field of health research regulation, assessing patterns across regulatory practices.

In January 2015, she began her PhD under the supervision of Professor Graeme Laurie and Dr Gillian Black, which will aim to explore and identify future potential legal and ethical issues surrounding the regulation of assisted reproductive technologies in the UK.