Professor Aisling McMahon

Principal Investigator

Professor Aisling McMahon is a Professor of Law at the School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University.

She previously held academic positions in Newcastle University and Durham University. Aisling’s research focuses on health law and intellectual property law, and she is particularly interested in the role of intellectual property rights within the health context, including the potential impacts that patent rights – and how they are used – can have on access to, and delivery of healthcare.

Aisling has published widely on these issues within leading international peer reviewed journals, including in the: Journal of Medical Ethics, Medical Law Review, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Journal of Law and the Biosciences, and the Intellectual Property Quarterly.

Aisling is regularly invited to participate in policy workshops and events with leading international organisations, including: the World Health Organisation, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

She regularly speaks about the role and operation of intellectual property rights in the health context to a range of government, policy and civil society groups. Her work has been cited widely, including in the UK House of Commons and Irish Parliament in recent debates around patents and access to COVID-19 vaccines and other health-technologies.

In 2018, she co-founded the UK and Ireland Patent Scholars Network (with Prof Naomi Hawkins and Dr Karen Walsh) which currently has over 40 members drawn from patent practice and academia in the UK and Ireland.

Aisling has been a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford (Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar), the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, the Hastings Center New York, and most recently, was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Law, EUI.

Dr Opeyemi Kolawole

Postdoctoral Researcher

Prior to joining this project, Opeyemi completed his doctoral program at Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.

His research interests intersect intellectual property rights, international trade, and development. His PhD thesis titled “Reimagining the Technology Transfer Obligations in the TRIPS Agreement” explored the effect of international intellectual property (IP) standards on technology transfer to Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This doctoral project was fully funded by an award of the Sutherland School of Law Doctoral Scholarship.

In the medium term, Opeyemi is interested in exploring how existing IP norms would respond to new technologies, particularly immersive and assistive technologies. His recent work in this field, includes a co-authored paper with his doctoral thesis supervisor, Dr Cliona Kelly, titled “Artificial Intelligence as an “Inventor” in Patent Law” published in 2021 in the Commercial Law Practitioner. Opeyemi’s research also explores development questions within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) legal framework, particularly the structure and viability of the WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment framework.

Opeyemi obtained his LL.M degree in Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (IP/IT) from the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin and his LL.B degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. In 2015, he was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He is also involved in development advocacy in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria.

Sinéad Masterson

Project Manager

Prior to joining the project, Sinéad worked extensively in the regulation of substances of human origin (used in human application) at the Health Products Regulatory Authority, as Blood, Tissues and Organs Section Manager and Inspector of Blood, Tissue and Organ Establishments for over 10 years.

Since 2016, she has been working as an external consultant collaborating in several high-profile projects with the European Commission (DG Santé) and the Council of Europe (EDQM). Most recently she was involved in the development of the European Database for Convalescent Covid Plasma (EUCCP) during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the evaluation and the impact assessment relating to the revision of the European Blood and Tissue legislation.

Sinéad completed her BSc. in Pharmacology and Chemistry at UCD and her MSc. in Biomedical Science with the University of Ulster. She also holds a PGDip. in Project Management and is looking forward to bringing her experience to her role as Project Manager with the ERC PatentsInHumans Project.

Advisory Board

Professor Jorge L. Contreras

James T. Jensen Endowed Professor for Transactional Law
Adjunct Professor Human Genetics
University of Utah

Sheila Fitzgerald

Nurse, Patient and Access to Medicines Activist

Professor Jonathan Ives

Professor of Empirical Bioethics
Bristol Medical School

Professor Duncan Matthews

Professor of Intellectual Property Law
Queen Mary University of London

Professor Thérèse Murphy

Professor, School of Law
Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Caroline Ncube

Professor and Research Chair of Intellectual Property Innovation and Development
Department of Commercial Law
University of Cape Town S.A

Professor Shobita Parthasarathy

Professor of Public Policy and Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Michigan

Professor Muireann Quigley

Professor of Law, Medicine, and Technology
University of Birmingham