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Cambridge Reproduction


PHG Foundation is a non-profit think tank, linked to the University of Cambridge, with a special focus on how genomics and other emerging health technologies can provide more effective, personalised healthcare and deliver improvements in health for patients and citizens. We focus on implementation and prioritise working with stakeholders to facilitate policy development. My role within this organisation is to consider the social, ethical and legal challenges that arise through biomedical innovation and personalisation. As part of this work I have been heavily involved in our flagship project, My Healthy Future. This initiative has looked at how the health system and wider society will have to adapt over the next 20 years to make optimal use of emerging technologies and what challenges and opportunities might be encountered. This was explored through the lens of four life stages – the first of which focused on reproductive and fetal health. Here we considered the potential of new technologies to improve reproductive health (for example through developments in antenatal tests and diagnostics, pre-pregnancy screening and germline interventions). In the context of these developments, concerns arising included those around individual responsibility for health, shifting ethical and societal tolerance for intervening in the germline, regulatory issues around ARTs and the potential for new technologies, especially those marketed as direct to consumer, to widen existing inequalities. 

Beyond this project, other current research areas include the legal and ethical issues raised by novel technologies such as genome editing, ethical considerations surrounding the collection and use of citizen generated data by the healthcare system for predictive prevention, and maintaining person centred healthcare within an era of personalised medicine.