Shobita Parthasarathy is an Associate 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
Whose Knowledge? Whose Values? The Comparative Politics of Patenting Life Forms in the United States and Europe
Policy Sciences 
Assessing the social impact of direct-to-consumer genetic testing: Understanding sociotechnical architectures
Genetics & Medicine 
Breaking the expertise barrier:
understanding activist strategies in science
and technology policy domains
Science & Public Policy 
Building Genetic Medicine: Breast Cancer, Technology, and the Comparative Politics of Health Care
MIT Press 
The patent is political: the consequences of patenting the BRCA genes in Britain
Public Health Genomics 
Does gene patenting hurt the public interest?
UM News Service [April 2013]
USA-Biotech Justizministerium will Gen-Patentierung Stark einschraenken
German ARD Radio [November 5, 2010]
The Kojo Nnamdi Show WAMU [June 4, 2009]
Presentation on Building Genetic Medicine
Building Genetic Medicine [April 2007]