Dr Kate Millar

Director, Centre for Applied Bioethics, Faculty of Science, at the University of Nottingham in England. 

Kate has a physiology background (Leeds University first class honours degree) and PhD in biotechnology assessment and bioethical analysis from the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham. She continued in this field of research, working on projects examining the bioethical dimensions of technology assessment procedures and the role of multi-stakeholder participation.  Working in collaboration with Professor Ben Mepham, she worked on the development of decision-making frameworks that  assist policy-makers, particularly in relation to the assessment of novel (e.g. genetically modified) foods, animal and environmental biotechologies.

Kate’s work includes conducting projects exploring stakeholder issues raised by the use of bioremediation technologies and the contribution of a participatory tool applied to aid research planning and management.

Her research interests include: Ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) of biotechnology use in environmental remediation and animal systems; the development of multi-criteria frameworks to map issues relating to biotechnology use and the wider sustainability agenda; and the role of stakeholder participation in technology assessment.

She is an internationally recognized leader in field with roles that include being a Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics (JAEE), Member of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Risk Communication Project Steering Group, and co-editor for the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (EURSAFE).

Read more about Dr Kate Millar at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/Biosciences/People/kate.millar


Research at the Centre for Applied Bioethics

Research projects have included:

Animal disease The Network of Animal Disease Infectiology Research Facilities (NADIR)  brings together 14 European laboratories holding level 3 biosafety clearance in order to, amongst other things, optimise their investigation and diagnostic/validation tools, achieve economies of scale and use the resources saved to modernise existing facilities in a coordinated manner.  The CAB is contributing to the work package designed to strengthen the sharing of knowledge, best practice and consideration of ethical issues. 

Biofuels The University of Nottingham is to lead the way in the development of sustainable bioenergy fuels which use non-food crops, such as willow, industrial and agricultural waste products and inedible parts of crops, such as straw, so do not take products out of the food chain. The CAB and the Institute for Science and Society will lead the social and ethical theme of two of six research projects being run by the University of Nottingham for the national £27m BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre. This is the biggest ever single UK public investment in bioenergy research.

Dog genomics The EU project LUPA uses dogs to piece together the puzzle of human genetic disorders.  The project, named after the she-wolf that according to Roman mythology cared for the twin founders of Rome is backed by EUR 12 million, involves scientists in 12 countries and will run until 2012.  The CAB is employing the Ethical Matrix to encourage systematic consideration of the ethical issues raised for different stakeholders by the research.

Genomics, animal health and food safety The European Disease Genomics Network of Excellence for Animal Health and Food Safety (EADGENE)aims to coordinate a genomics approach to the unravelling of the host-pathogen interactions in domestic livestock. EADGENE allows groups of Network participants to engage in structured discussion about EADGENE related ethical and societal issues based on the use of a modified Ethical Matrix first developed in Nottingham by Professor Mepham.

Stem cells Dr Kate Millar sits on the advisory board of the European project called ESTOOLS.  This project seeks to advance our understanding of the fundamental science of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stems cells.

Companion animal obesity. People, parks and pets A project team from School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Biosciences and the Institute for Science and Society ran an explorative study examining the relationship between dog ownership, obesity, physical activity levels and perceived access and quality of open space. This work was funded by a Masterfoods Bursary (2007) and involved interviews with owners of obese and non-obese dogs.

The UK animal research debate. This project was funded by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship (2006-2009) and investigated the use of ethical and other arguments by stakeholders in the UK animal research debate. The empirical work involved interviews with researchers who use animals, and with funders, supporters, and critical groups. Publications from this work contribute to debates about animals and society, empirical ethics, and the role of public opinion

Vaccination resistance. This PhD project (2001-2005) was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at the Institute for Science and Society at the University of Nottingham. The work looked at the social and ethical issues around opposition to childhood vaccination policy in the UK.

Ethical tools This website presents the results of the project Ethical Bio-TA Tools as funded by the European Commission, DG Research, under FP5, Quality of Life Programme. 


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