Ciara Staunton is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University and the LLB Program Leader. She is also a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Biomedicine, Eurac Research, Italy. Previously she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Hasting’s Centre (New York), a Visiting Fellow at the Genetics Department at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), and a Visiting Research at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust (Kenya).
Ciara's research interests are in the governance of new and emerging technologies, and she has a particular interest in the governance of stem cell research, genomic research and biobanking. She has been involved in policy development in Ireland, Africa and Bahrain in these domains. Her most recent research is looking at the governance of health data sharing in Africa, for which she is in receipt of a Wellcome Trust small research grant.
Prior to her appointment at Middlesex University, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Stellenbosch University (South Africa). She was co-investigator on the NIH funded Community Engagement for H3Africa Biobanking Research: The Tygerberg Model grant and appointed to the H3Africa Ethics and Regulatory Issues Working Group and the H3Africa Community Engagement Working Group. During this time she also coordinated the Advancing Research Ethics in Southern Africa (ARESA) program. Her PhD was funded by the Irish Research Council and awarded by the National University of Ireland, Galway for the topic 'The Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Ireland'.
Prior to beginning her academic career, Ciara was a legal researcher at the Law Reform Commission of Ireland.
Intellectual Property Law
C Staunton, R Adams, D Anderson, T Croxton, D Kamuya, M Munene, C Swanepoel ‘Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 and data protection for health research in South Africa’ (Winter, 2019) International Data Privacy Law Journal
C Staunton, R Adams, M Botes, ES Dove, L Horn, M Labuschaigne, G Loots, S Mahomed, J Makuba, A Olckers, MS Pepper, A Pope, M Ramsay, N Ni Loideain, J de Vries “Safeguarding the future of genomic research in South Africa: broad consent and the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013” (2019) 109(7) South African Medical Journal 468
C Staunton, A Abayomi, F Bassa, K Moodley, “Negotiating requests for reimbursement for community engagement: challenges in developing an educational video for genomic biobanking research in South Africa” (2019) Journal of Empirical Human Research Ethics doi: 10.1177/1556264619856223
C Staunton, R Adams, A Abayomi, ES Dove, N Harriman, L Horn, M Labuschaigne, N Mulder, A Olckers, A Pope, C Swanopoel, N Ni Loideain, J de Vries “Ethical and practical issues to consider in the governance of Data Sharing for Genomic and Human Research Data in South Africa: a meeting report” AAS Open Res 2019, 2:15
C Staunton, S Slokenberga, D Mascalzoni “The GDPR and the research exemption: considerations on the necessary safeguards for research biobanks” European Journal of Human Genetics (2019) 27(8) European Journal of Human Genetics 1159
C Staunton, E de Stadler “The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013: Implications for Biobanks” (2019) 109(4) South African Medical Journal 232
K Moodley, C Staunton, T Rossouw, M de Roubaix, Z Dube, D Skinner “The psychology of “cure” - unique challenges to consent processes in HIV cure research in South Africa BMC Medical Ethics (2019) 20(9) BMC Medical Ethics
C Staunton “It's about actually having a proactive regulatory framework versus a reactive one': Stakeholder perspectives on the governance of embryonic stem cell research in Ireland” (2018) 24(2) Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland 97
A Yakubu, P Tindana, A Matimba, S Munung, K Littler, C Staunton, J de Vries, Model framework for governance of genomic research and biobanking in Africa – a content description AAS Open Res 2018, 1:13
C Staunton, M deRoubaix, T Rossouw, J Black, D Baatijes, M Hendricks, K Moodley, “Ethical challenges in developing an educational video to empower potential participants during consent processes in future HIV cure research in South Africa” (2018) Journal of Virus Eradication 99-102
C Staunton “The Regulation of embryonic stem cell research in Ireland: Developments since the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction” (2018) 18(1) Medical Law International 35-58
C Staunton, P Tindana, M Hendricks, K Moodley “Rules of engagement: stakeholder perspectives on community engagement for genomic and biobanking research in South Africa” (2018) 19(13) BMC Medical Ethics
J de Vries, N Munung, A Matimba, S McCrudy, O Ouwe Missi Oukem, C Staunton, P Tindana, A Yakubu “Regulation of genomic and biobanking research in Africa: a content analysis of ethics guidelines, policies and procedures from 22 African countries” (2017) 18(8) BMC Medical Ethics
C Staunton “Is a pan-African approach to biobanking in Africa possible? Lessons to be learned from Europe in Africa’s search for a harmonised governance framework” Contemporary Issues in Law (2016) 13(4) Contemporary Issues in Law 267 - 286
C Staunton, K Moodley, “Data mining and biological sample exportation from South Africa – a new wave of bio-exploitation under the guise of clinical care?” (2016) 106(2) South Africa Medical Journal 136
C Staunton “Informed Consent for HIV cure research in South Africa: Issues to Consider” (2015) BMC Medical Ethics 16:3
C Staunton & K Moodley “Challenges in biobank governance in Sub-Saharan Africa” BMC Medical Ethics 2013, 14:35
C Staunton “Brustle v Greenpeace, Embryonic Stem Cell Research and the European Court of Justice’s New Found Morality”  Medical Law Review 21 (2): 310-319
C Staunton “As Easy as A, B and C: Will A, B and C v. Ireland Be Ireland’s Wake-up Call for Abortion Rights?” (2011) 18 European Journal of Health Law 205-219
C Staunton “Individual rights in biobank research under GDPR”, S Slokenberga, O Tzortzatou, J Reichel Individual rights, public interest and biobanking. Article 89 GDPR and European legal responses (Springer, 2019) forthcoming
C Staunton “Protecting the patient and embryos in vitro: the need for embryonic stem cell research regulations in Ireland” in M Donnelly & C Murray Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare: confronting complexities (Manchester University Press, 2016)
C Staunton “Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act, 2013” in Clark (ed.) Irish Current Law Statutes Annotated 2013 (Thomson Round Hall, 2014)
“Challenges facing a harmonised framework for genomic and biobanking research in Africa” 13th World Congress of Bioethics, Scotland, 16 June 2016
“Perspectives on developing guidelines for a localised biobank” 13th World Congress of Bioethics, Scotland, 16 June 2016
“Data and sample sharing across borders” 4th Annual Bioethics Seminar, Cape Town, South Africa, 20 May 2016
“Effective Strategies for Engaging with Communities around Biomedical Research” National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, 14 October 2015
Erikainen, Sonja and Friesen, Phoebe and Rand, Leah and Jongsma, Karin and Dunn, Michael and Sorbie, Annie and McCoy, Matthew and Bell, Jessica and Burgess, Michael and Chen, Haidan and Chico, Vicky and Cunningham-Burley, Sarah and Darbyshire, Julie and Dawson, Rebecca and Evans, Andrew and Fahy, Nick and Finlay, Teresa and Frith, Lucy and Goldenberg, Aaron and Hinton, Lisa and Hoppe, Nils and Hughes, Nigel and Koenig, Barbara and Lignou, Sapfo and McGowan, Michelle and Parker, Michael and Prainsack, Barbara and Shabani, Mahsa and Staunton, Ciara and Thompson, Rachel and Varnai, Kinga and Vayena, Effy and Williams, Oli and Williamson, Max and Chan, Sarah and Sheehan, Mark (2020) Public involvement in the governance of population-level biomedical research: unresolved questions and future directions. Journal of Medical Ethics . pp. 1-4. ISSN 0306-6800
Staunton, Ciara and Swanepoel, Carmen and Labuschagine, Melodie (2020) Between a rock and a hard place: COVID-19 and South Africa’s response. Journal of Law and the Biosciences , 7 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2053-9711 (Published online first)
Staunton, Ciara and Adams, Rachel and Anderson, Dominique and Croxton, Talishiea and Kamuya, Dorcas and Munene, Marianne and Swanepoel, Carmen (2020) Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 and data protection for health research in South Africa. International Data Privacy Law Journal , 10 (2). pp. 160-179. ISSN 2044-3994
Staunton, Ciara and de Vries, Jantina (2020) The governance of genomic biobank research in Africa: reframing the regulatory tilt. Journal of Law and Biosciences . pp. 1-20. ISSN 2053-9711 (Published online first)
Tindana, Paulina and Yakubu, Aminu and Staunton, Ciara and Matimba, Alice and Littler, Katherine and Madden, Ebony and Munung, Nchangwi Syntia and de Vries, Jantina (2019) Engaging research ethics committees to develop an ethics and governance framework for best practices in genomic research and biobanking in Africa: the H3Africa model [Commentary]. BMC Medical Ethics , 20 (1). p. 69. ISSN 1472-6939
Wellcome Trust, ‘The governance of data sharing for genomic and other health related data in Africa’ (2018-2019) – Principal Investigator
NIH 'Community Engagement for H3Africa Biobanking Research: The Tygerberg Model' (2014-2017) - Co-Investigator
Irish Research Council 'The Regulation of Stem Cell Research in Ireland' (2010-2013)
Ciara has also been in receipt of various travel awards.
Ciara is currently advising the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases on strengthening its data protection framework.
In May 2018, Ciara was invited by the Supreme Council of Health of the Kingdom of Bahrain to advise on the introduction of stem cell research regulations.
In January 2013, Ciara was invited to appear before the Irish Joint Oireachtas (government) Health Committee on the implementation of ABC v Ireland into Irish law.
Member of the H3Africa Ethics and Regulatory Issues Working Group
Member of the H3Africa Community Engagement Working Group