Principal Investigator

Professor Muireann Quigley

Professor Quigley has an interdisciplinary background which crosses medicine, ethics, and law. Her current research focuses on the legal and philosophical challenges arising from the joining of persons and bodies with attached and implanted medical devices. These are being investigated as part of the Everyday Cyborgs 2.0 project.

Professor Quigley is the author of a recent major monograph examining how the law ought to deal with novel challenges regarding the use and control of human biomaterials. Self-ownership, Property Rights, & the Human Body: A Legal and Philosophical Analysis was originally published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. Drawing together often disparate strands of property discourse, it offers an original interdisciplinary defence of the position that persons ought to be seen as the prima facie holders of property rights in their separated biomaterials.


Research Fellows

Dr Laura Downey

Laura’s work focuses on understanding the interaction between law and regulation, and the broader sociotechnical environment. In particular, she is interested in developing an understanding of how law and specific legal concepts develop in this environment with a view to aiding practical questions as to how law and regulation can effectively intervene in innovation, and normative questions as to how law and technology should be guided. She also draws on the concept of identity in law in relation to health research and biotechnological advances. Her broader interests include the regulation of technology in general and medical law. Her current work on the Everyday Cyborgs 2.0 project has focused on the regulation of medical devices, looking in particular at the evolving landscape in the UK and issues concerning software as a medical device. 


Ms Zaina Mahmoud

Zaina is a socio-legal scholar and, as such, takes an empirical approach to enhancing the legal analytical component of her research. At Birmingham, Zaina is working on the Wellcome trust funded project Everyday Cyborg 2.0: law’s boundary work and alternative legal futures.’ Prior to this, she completed her Wellcome Trust-funded PhD at the Wellcome Centre of Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter. Her thesis encompassed empirical socio-legal research on surrogacy regulation and its implications for surrogates’ autonomy, health, and wellbeing.


Dr Joseph T F Roberts

Joseph’s  main focus on the Everyday Cyborg 2.0. Project is to work on the normative and conceptual questions that the existence of everyday cyborgs pose and integrate these with the empirical components to develop a new account of everyday cyborgs in law. Joseph’s second current line of research focuses on the notion of respect for persons and the limits of what we can consent to, in particular whether or not people can consent to ‘destructive choices’. Destructive choices are choices which threaten to destroy the agency of the person making them. Joseph’s research aims to provide an account of when engaging in destructive choices is permissible and what safe-guards ought to be put in place to ensure that people engaging in them do so willingly.