Assistant Professor in Biolaw, Durham University

Aisling joined Durham law school as an Assistant Professor in Biolaw in September 2017.

Her research explores the institutional influences which shape the making, interpretation, and application of legal rules. In this context, she is particularly interested in areas at the interface between law and science and between ordinary legal rules and rulemaking by technical bodies. Aisling obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh which was funded by a Principal's Career Development Award. This research examined the institutional framework for the application of the morality provisions in the European patent system for biotechnological inventions.

Her work continues to explore the relationship between intellectual property and bioethical concerns. She is currently working on a project, funded by a British Academy grant, which examines the divergent legal approaches to gene patentability that have emerged in the EU, US, and Canada. This research adopts a comparative institutional approach to highlight the influences shaping these approaches, the practical consequences of their adoption, and the factors underlying their disjunction with social expectations on access to treatment.

Aisling has been a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford (Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar), the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and the Hastings Center. She was Managing Editor (2012-2013) and Editor-in-Chief (2013-2015) of SCRIPTed Journal of Law, Technology and Society, and is currently the Book Reviews Editor for Medical Law International (2017-present).

Prior to joining Durham, Aisling was a lecturer in Newcastle law school (2014-2017). Previously, she worked as a tutor in advanced legal methods and medical jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh (2011-2013), and was also an AHRC research fellow on the 'Banking (On) the Brain' project at the University of Edinburgh. This inter-disciplinary project explored whether and how conceptions of the brain emanating from key Arts and Humanities disciplines and scientific research was reflected in the legal framework for brain-banking in the UK. From 2010-2011, Aisling worked as a judicial researcher (clerk) for members of the Irish Superior courts based in the Four Courts and Courts of Criminal Justice, Dublin.


  • 2017–present
    Assistant lecturer, Durham Law School
  • 2014–2017
    Lecturer, Newcastle Law School


  • 2015 
    PhD, University of Edinburgh

Grants and Contracts

  • 2017
    Gene Patentabilty
    Principal Investigator (Small Grant)
    Funding Source:
    British Academy