Shobita Parthasarathy is a Professor of Public Policy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She studies policy and politics related to controversial emerging technologies, particularly genetics and biotechnology, in the United States, Europe, and India. She also analyzes the role that science and expertise plays in policymaking. She is the author of numerous articles and a book, Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care (MIT Press, 2007). Findings from this book, which compared the development of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer in the United States and Britain, helped to inform the 2013 US Supreme Court case over gene patents. She is now completing a book comparing the life form patent controversies in the United States and Europe, focusing on 1980 to the present. Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition, and Tax Law (Germany), the American Bar Foundation, Northwestern University, University of California—Los Angeles, the Wellcome Trust (UK), and the National Science Foundation.

Professor Parthasarathy has advised the American Civil Liberties Union; US Government Accountability Office; European Patent Office; Dutch Medical Biotechnology Commission; Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (US Department of Health and Human Services); Austrian Genome Research Programme; Policy Committee of the University of Michigan's Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies; and individual members of the US Congress. She sits on the Board of Directors of Breast Cancer Action, a health justice advocacy group. Parthasarathy holds Masters and PhD degrees in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Chicago. Earlier in her career, she worked for the National Academy of Sciences, RAND, and the White House Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. She has written for The New York Times, Nature, and The Conversation, and has been interviewed by PBS, The New Scientist, the San Diego Union Tribune, and German ARD Radio.

Follow her @ShobitaP.

Additional Expertise: Genetics and Biotechnology Policy; Responsible Innovation; Patent Policy and Law; Patents and the Public Interest; Ethical, Social, Legal, and Policy Implications of Emerging Technologies; Bioethics (including Research Ethics); Comparative Politics of Emerging Science and Technology; Science and Technology Policy; Research Funding Policy; Geoengineering

Articles, Publications, Appearances