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Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of Surrey

Professor Abbott is highly regarded for his scholarship, teaching, and professional activities. His legal research has focused in three areas: the impact of autonomous machines and technological advances, intellectual property issues in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and the use of informational regulation and market-based mechanisms by health regulatory agencies. His work on autonomous machines has included recent publications in the George Washington Law Review, Harvard Law and Policy Review, and the Boston College Law Review on autonomous machines and accident law, tax policy, and intellectual property, respectively. His work with health regulatory agencies has included publications in the Duke Law Journal and the Iowa Law Review. His monograph, "The Reasonable Robot: Autonomous Machines and the Law" is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2019.

Professor Abbott has worked as General Counsel and Medical Director of a mid-stage biotechnology company, and has been Of Counsel at law firms where he specialized in intellectual property litigation and transactional matters for pharmaceutical and medical device clients. He has served as a consultant for international organizations, academic institutions and non-profit enterprises including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Professor Abbott has also worked as an expert witness which has included testifying in U.S. federal court.

Professor Abbott is a licensed and board certified physician, attorney, and acupuncturist in the United States, as well as a solicitor (non-practicing) in England and Wales. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (M.D.) and the Yale Law School (J.D.), as well as a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Emperor's College (M.T.O.M.) and a Summa Cum Laude graduate from University of California, Los Angeles (B.S.). Professor Abbott has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships, scholarships and awards, and has served as Principal Investigator of clinical research studies at the University of California. He is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the California and New York State Bars. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


  • –present
    Professor of Law and Health Sciences, University of Surrey