Professor Erica Haimes
Professor of Sociology & Executive Director (PEALS)

  • Email: erica.haimes@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7487/3252 (messages)
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 7741
  • Address: PEALS (Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences) Research Centre
    Newcastle University
    4th Floor Claremont Bridge
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU
    United Kingdom

Introduction

Erica Haimes is Executive Director (August 2013 onwards) of the PEALS (Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences) Research Centre, where she was also the Founding Executive Director  (1998-2008) and Professorial Fellow (2008-13). She is also Professor of Sociology in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University. Her research interests include: interdisciplinary research on social, ethical and legal aspects of the life sciences; reproductive and genetic technologies; the socio-ethical aspects of the provision of human tissue for research, and the relationship between states, families and medicine with a focus on assisted conception. She runs the PARTS (Provision and Acquisition of Reproductive Tissue for Science) International Research Network.

Roles and Responsibilities

Erica Haimes is Professor of Sociology in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle and is also Executive Director of the PEALS (Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences) Research Centre.

Previous Positions

Founding Executive Director, PEALS Research Centre (1998-2008)

Professorial Fellow, PEALS Research Centre (2008-13) 

Research Interests

Erica's research interests include:

(i) interdisciplinary research on social, ethical and legal aspects of the life sciences;

(ii) socio-ethical aspects of reproductive and genetic technologies;

(iii) the socio-ethical aspects of the provision of human tissue for research;

(iv) the relationship between states, families and medicine with a focus on assisted conception.

A wide selection of Erica's publications can be downloaded from Newcastle University's 'e-prints service'.

 

Other Expertise

Empirical research on a range of socio-ethical issues in the life sciences and in health and illness.

She also provides policy and practice guidance in the above fields, through her memberships of: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Ethics and Law Advisory Committee (2009-10), the Ethics and Policy Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) (2010-2013; renewed 2013 to 2016), the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2011-2013; renewed to 2016) and through her appointment to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (from March 2013).

Current Work

Principal and Co- Investigator on various projects funded by: the Wellcome Trust; the William Leech Charity and Newcastle University Research Office.

Plus Founder of the PARTS (Provision and Acquisition of Reproductive Tissue for Science) International Research Network.

Postgraduate Supervision

Keywords for supervision: Sociology; Ethics; Genetic and Reproductive Technologies; Identity; Life Sciences

Esteem Indicators

The activities listed below indicate the range of policy engagement and impact that our work has.

Previously Member of the MRC International Advisory Committee on DNA Banking;

Member of the Nuffield Working Party on the social, ethical, legal and clinical issues around the prolongation of life in fetuses and newborns;

Member of the International Advisory Board for the NIH-funded Centre for Genetics Research, Ethics and Law, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA;

Member of the Interim Advisory Group on Ethics and Governance for UK Biobank (2003-4);

Member, Ethics and Governance Council, UKBiobank (2007-2009);

Editorial Boards for: Bioethics; New Genetics and Society; Community Genetics;

Advisory Board of the UK’s ESRC Genomics Research and Policy Forum at Edinburgh University;

Launched the PARTS (Provision and Acquisition of Reproductive Tissue for Science) International Research Network;

Asked to join the Ethics and Law Advisory Committee of the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority as an External Member to advise on social science research;

Asked to join the Ethics and Public Policy Committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research;

Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Ethics Advisory Board (2011-2013; now renewed to 2016);

Appointed to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (from March 2013). 

Funding

Current grants include:

Wellcome Trust (2013-16)  ‘A socio-ethical investigation of the values and experiences of women volunteering to provide eggs for mitochondrial research under a scheme in which money is offered to egg providers’.

Newcastle University Research Office (2014-15) 'Citizenship, Science and Ethics'

William Leech Charitable Trust: 'Interdisciplinary Approaches to uses of Reproductive Tissue in Science' (IDARTS project);

Past grants include:

Wellcome Trust: A comparative study of participation and non-participation in the North Cumbria Community Genetics Project. (With Michael Whong-Barr; £73,003, 2001-2003);

Northern Rock Foundation: to fund my role as Director of Research in PEALS, with particular responsibility for conducting empirical social science research on social and ethical issues in the life sciences. (£300,000, 2002–2007);

Wellcome Trust: A comparative study of embryo donors’ and non-donors’ views on embryo experimentation for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and stem cell therapies. (£210,344, 2003–2010);

Genetics of Healthy Ageing (GEHA). (With Professor Tom Kirkwood, €296,000, 2004-2010);

Nano2Life with Professor Ken Snowdon. (€123,744, 2004-2008);

Northern Rock Foundation: to fund 3 years salary for public engagement post in PEALS. (With Dr Tom Wakeford; £375,000, 2007-2009);

MRC: to fund an investigation into women’s experiences of an IVF egg sharing scheme for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) research. Through this scheme volunteers provide eggs for SCNT research in exchange for half-price IVF treatment. (£296,306, 2008-2011).

Projects