Department of Anthropology

What we do

The Centre for Bionetworking: Fostering responsible innovation in the life sciences.

The Centre for Bionetworking studies international, collaborative ways of undertaking research and development for life sciences-based innovations. The centre looks for ways to overcome existing challenges to safe, just and mutually profitable international exchanges.


Aims of the Centre for Bionetworking

Our efforts, supported by expertise in Asian language, life sciences, law, and policy-making, will map how international life science collaborations deal with differences between research institutions in countries with high- and low-incomes. The research will generate:

• Academic publications and policy briefs sharing our findings and explaining the phenomena associated with bionetworking exchanges.

• Tools to improve current collaborative efforts and exchanges between areas with varying levels of socio-economic development, political systems and educational traditions.

• Recommendations on how multiple public health policies, healthcare systems and epidemiological analyses can be reflected in the needs, preferences and behaviour of stakeholders and established international standards for research.


Wider Aims

• to build a solid knowledge base that facilitates international collaborations in stem cell science and therapy provision 
(including knowledge of research conditions, research regulation, 
socio-economic infrastructure, and national policies)

• to bring together stakeholders, including scientists, patient
 groups and policy-makers, and concerned members of the public
 (through workshops, public debate and focus groups) to define, 
address and help to overcome current obstacles to transnational 

• to formulate new bioethical guidelines that can deal effectively with
 challenges generated through international differences and national 
health and research priorities.

• to provide consultancy advising scientists, patients and policy-
makers on stem cell research and therapy conditions in Asia.

We reach our aims through cross-disciplinary collaboration with partners in Asia:

• Building on the observations of scientists, managers and patients, we analyse how regional differences and inequalities play a role
 in ‘bionetworks’ used in patient recruitment and international research 

• We examine how and whether the
 collection, storage and exchange of human tissues and stem cell therapy provision compare to the priorities of stem cell researchers, patients, 
policy-makers and concerned citizens.

• We will translate our knowledge of patient, research and 
 hospital networks into guidance for research collaboration, patient support and policy-making.

We use various social science methods (backward mapping, participant observation, interviews, focus groups, as well as option creation and social network analysis) to examine international science collaborations in the fields of experimental stem cell therapies and biobanking in Asia


 Mapping our network of regional research and expertise