Principal Investigator - Dr. Mark Eccleston-Turner

Principal Investigator - Dr. Mark Eccleston-Turner

The Principal Investigator on the project is Dr. Mark Eccleston-Turner. Mark is a Lecturer in Law at Keele University. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and a Master of Laws with distinction in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Edinburgh. His doctorate was awarded by the University of Manchester in 2016 for a thesis entitled: “The PIP Framework and Access to Pandemic Influenza Vaccines: Procurement Options for Developing States.” Within this, he focussed on international law, access and benefit regimes, vaccine procurement, and intellectual property rights in the context of access to pandemic influenza vaccines.

His research specialism is in the field of international law and infectious diseases. Within this, his research interests lie in the field of pandemic influenza preparedness and access to vaccines, and the law of international organizations in the context of global health. He has published extensively on access to pandemic vaccine issues, including on issues of vaccine procurement for developing countries, and equitable access models.

He is currently the Distinguished Visiting Professor in Law at Georgetown University School of Law and is a Center Affiliate at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University. He has held appointments as the Visiting Fellow at the Brocher Foundation, in Geneva, and an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr Eccleston-Turner has also worked as a Consultant to the World Health Organisation.

More information about Mark can be found here.

Co-investigator - Dr. Alexandra Phelan

Co-investigator - Dr. Alexandra Phelan

Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a co-investigator on this project. She is a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security and an Assistant Professor on the tenure track in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Phelan works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases, with a particular focus on emerging and reemerging infectious disease outbreaks and international law. She has worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Gavi: the vaccine alliance. She previously worked for a number of years as a solicitor at a firm in Melbourne, Australia and was admitted to practice to the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia in 2010. 

Dr. Phelan’s doctorate examined how overlap between fields of international law – in particular, global health law, international human rights law, and international environmental law – can serve as the catalyst to progressively develop international law to prevent and respond to infectious diseases.  She also holds a Master of Laws, specializing in international law, from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) double degree from Monash University. She also holds a Diploma of Languages (Mandarin Chinese). Dr. Phelan is a General Sir John Monash Scholar and was recognized as an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2015 for her human rights advocacy during the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak.

More information about Dr. Phelan can be found here.

Co-investigator - Dr. Michelle Rourke

Co-investigator - Dr. Michelle Rourke

Dr. Michelle Rourke is a co-investor on this project, and a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Research Fellow at Griffith University's Law Futures Centre where she researches the global regulation of access to genetic resources for the Australian synthetic biology community. Michelle was a Scientific Research Officer in the Australian Army for ten years, researching the intra-host genetic variation and evolution of dengue virus and Ross River virus. She completed her doctoral studies at Griffith Law School and as a Fulbright Scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Michelle is a trained virologist who completed her PhD on accessing virus samples and sharing the benefits (like vaccines and antiviral medications) associated with their use. Her thesis examined how international access and benefit-sharing (ABS) laws under the Convention on Biological Diversity, its Nagoya Protocol and the World Health Organization's Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework impact access to virus samples and associated genetic sequence data. Michelle is a member of the Global Virome Project's Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Working Group, a Johns Hopkins Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) 2020 Fellow, and a non-resident Affiliate of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical School. Michelle has published extensively on ABS, and its role in providing access to vaccines and other benefits for developing countries.

More information about Dr. Rourke can be found here

Research Assistant - Mr. Harry Upton

Research Assistant - Mr. Harry Upton

Mr. Harry Upton is the Research Assistant for the “Assessing the viability of access and benefit-sharing models of equitable distribution of vaccines in international law” project. Harry completed his undergraduate law degree in 2019, qualifying with first class honours from Keele University. During his undergraduate studies, Harry received the Keele University Excellence Scholarship. In 2018, he was awarded a Michael Sherrard Access to the Bar Award by Middle Temple, in recognition of the strength of his oral and written advocacy. 

He is due to commence the LLM programme at the University of Birmingham in September 2020, having been awarded a Masters-Level Scholarship by the College of Arts and Law. 

Harry can be contacted at: h.e.upton@keele.ac.uk