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Dr Silvia Camporesi is a bioethicist with an interdisciplinary background in biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of medicine. She is a Reader in Bioethics and Health Humanities in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, where she is also the Director of the MSc in Bioethics & Society.

Silvia holds two PhDs: the first in Foundations of Life Sciences and Ethics, a joint program of the European School of Molecular Medicine and the University of Milan (2010); the second in Philosophy of Medicine awarded by King’s (2013), funded by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Humanities & Health, directed by Professor Brian Hurwitz.

Originally trained as a biotechnologist at the University of Bologna (Italy), Silvia spent a year at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Triest (Italy), where she worked in the Molecular Medicine/Gene Therapy laboratory led by Professor Mauro Giacca, before deciding to leave the 'bench' of the molecular biology lab to pursue a career in bioethics.

In 2010/11, Silvia held a visiting position at the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

In 2015, she won a King's Teaching Excellence Award.


  • Application of genetic technologies in reproduction
  • Biomedical technologies applied for human enhancement
  • Ethics and philosophy of sport
  • Early clinical trials and human participation in research
  • Medical tourism
  • Disability studies

Silvia’s research interests lie at the intersection of biomedical technologies, ethics and society, with a focus on genetic technologies. She has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, ranging from the ethics of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to choose genetic traits, to the ethics of human-animal hybrid embryos, to brain imaging to measure chronic pain and its use as evidence in the courtroom.

Since 2008, she has also published extensively in the nascent field of sport medicine ethics: from the controversy over Oscar Pistorius’ participation as an able-bodied athlete, to Caster Semenya’s case and its aftermath, to genetic technologies applied for enhancement purposes in sport, and direct-to-consumer genetic tests used to scout out children’s talents. Silvia has published two books: From bench, to bedside, to track & field: the context of enhancement and its ethical relevance (UC Medical Humanities Press, 2014) and Bioethics, Genetics and Sport (Routledge, 2018)



  • MSc Bioethics & Society
  • 7SSHM616 Critical Bioethics
  • 7SSHM615 Ethics of Clinical Research
  • 7SSHM617 Empirical Bioethics
  • 7SSHM621 Ethics & Law in Medicine and Sport

PhD supervision

Silvia is interested in supervising students working in the following areas:

  • Reprogenetics (genetic technologies applied in the context of reproduction)
  • Ethics and sport (including doping)
  • Gender and sport
  • Disability and sport
  • Ethics of clinical research (first-in-human studies, serial participation in clinical research, other topics in clinical research ethics)
  • Narrative approaches to bioethics

Further details

See Silvia's research profile