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Dr Saheli Datta Burton

Saheli Datta


Saheli Datta is a Research Associate of the European Commission H2020 funded Human Brain Project (HBP) led by Professor Nikolas Rose at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine (GHSM). She also serves as the Research Ethics Officer for the King's Research Ethics Office, member of the HBP's Communication Working Group (HBP-CWG) and steering committee member of the Biotechnology and Society research hub at King's (BIOS).

Prior to joining the HBP, Saheli was a part of the UK ESRC's Rising Powers project at King's Department of Political Economy. She holds a PhD and MSc (with Distinction) from King's, and a BA in Economics from Columbia University, New York.  

Currently, Saheli's research focuses on understanding the political economic implications of emerging health technologies from a comparative perspective with a focus on regenerative medicine and artificial intelligence. In her research in regenerative medical technologies, she is specifically looking to identify the emerging techno-scientific practices at the micro level (in China, India, and USA) that are leading to shifts in the complex global value chain of innovation in the life sciences where inter-state cooperation is an increasingly prominent feature. In her research in artificial intelligence, she is helping to understand and anticipate the complex and unprecedented ways in which the emerging technological imperatives are changing or likley to change the global bioeconomy and its implications for future societies.

Research Grants and Fellowships

2018: Research Fellow, Department of Political Science (Institut für Politikwissenschaft), University of Vienna, Universitätsstr. 7/2nd floor, 1010 Vienna, Austria.

2015: Research Fellow, Newton-Bhabha PhD Placement Grants for research under Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar (President - Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi) at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, UK and the Ministry of Science and Technology, India, British Council- India and the Department of Science and Technology, India.


Datta, S. (2018). An endogenous explanation of growth: direct-to-consumer stem cell therapies in PR China, India and the USA. Regenerative Medicine 13(5), 559-579.

Datta, S. (2014). Emerging Dynamics of evidence and trust in online user-to-user engagement: the case of 'unproven' stem cell therapies. Critical Public Health 28(3), 352-362. Download free at  or

Burton, S. D., Aicardi, C., Mahfoud, T., & Rose, N. (2018, July). Understanding Interstate Competitiveness and International Security in European Dual-Use Research. In Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (pp. 129-133). Springer, Cham.

Salter, B., Zhou, Y., Datta, S. (2016). Governing new global health-care markets: the case of stem cell treatments. New Political Economy. DOI:10.1080/13563467.2016.1198757

Salter, B., Zhou, Y., Datta, S. & Salter, C. (2016). Bioinformatics and the politics of innovation in the life sciences: science and the state in the UK, China, and India. Science, Technology and Human Values 1-34. DOI: 10.1177/0162243916631022

Salter, B., Zhou, Y., & Datta, S. (2015).Hegemony in the marketplace of biomedical innovation: Consumer demand and stem cell science. Social Science & Medicine 131: 156-163.​

Salter, Brian, Yinhua Zhou, and Saheli Datta. (2014). "Making Choices: Health Consumers, Regulation and the Global Stem Cell Therapy Market."BioDrugs: 1-4.

Salter, Brian, Yinhua Zhou, and Saheli Datta. (2014). "Health consumers and stem cell therapy innovation: markets, models and regulation." Regenerative medicine 9 (3): 353-366.

Salter, Brian, Yinhua Zhou and Saheli Datta (2013)Working Paper of the Project 39. The political economy of the global stem cell therapy market.

Faulkner, Alex and Datta, Saheli (2013) Report of Rising Powers Policy Workshop. Global Governance of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Therapy – An Example from India.

Datta, Saheli (2014) Models of Biomedical Innovation and Consumer Demand. Report of the Rising Powers Policy Workshop held 29 May 2014 at King's College London. London 

Datta, Saheli. (2014) Bioinformatics Policy of India (1986 2013) - A Report. Working Paper 43.  Rising Powers Research. Working Paper 43. King's College London. London  


2018-2019 PGT Guest Lecturer (2 lectures; 2 hrs x 2): 4SSHM001 & 4SSHM00A Introduction to Global Health (18~19 SEM1).

2018-2019 UGT Guest Lecturer (2 lectures; 3 hrs x 2): 7SSHM600 The Politics of Health and Medicine (18~19 SEM1).

2017-2018  Seminar Leader: 5SSHM004 The Dissertation Laboratory (17~18 SEM2).

2014-2015 Seminar Leader Advanced Issues in International Politics (6SSPP328 2014~15 SEM1)  This module examines a range of contemporary issues in international politics across various areas of economics and politics. It engages with a variety of conceptual approaches and issue areas, seeking to provide greater understanding of international politics in a theoretically-informed manner. The module has two halves. The first half engages with a number of issue areas and, rather than holding weekly seminars, culminates in a two-day residential exercise in which you will undertake a set of negotiations based on those topics, in order to ‘experience’ the way in which international political negotiations take place. The second half introduces Game Theory as a technique for understanding strategic interaction and continues the exploration of contemporary challenges in international politics.


2014-2015 Lecturer and Seminar Leader Global Science Policy (6SSPP346 2014~15 SEM2)   Science and technology are omnipresent and ever-increasing aspects of contemporary societies and economies. The development of policy in these fields is frequently the subject of controversy in public policymaking, marked by concerns about risks, hopes about economic, social and medical progress, and contested representations of scientific evidence in the public domain. Scientific innovation networks are global in scale and economies compete for position in a global economy of science and technology. This module is designed to introduce students to the basic structures, concepts, and issues of global science policy from a political economy perspective drawing in particular on the case of the life sciences: arguably the most global, dominant, and lucrative of scientific fields. Drawing on a range of theories taken from governance, public policy, globalisation and innovation, the module will construct, explore and apply an analysis of the political economy which drives and defines global science policy at national and transnational levels.

Scholarships and Funding (PhD) 

My research is made possible by the generosity of King's College London, The King's College London Graduate Discretionary Fund, The Bestway Foundation and The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust and The Mary Trevelyan Fund.


October 2018

Oral Presentation and Paper: Research, Trust and Policy Workshop, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

July 2018

Oral Presentation and Poster: Living Machines Consortium, University of Sorbonne, Paris, France. 

June 2018

Oral Presentation: Technopolitics of Integration. EASST Conference, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.


24-26 November 2016

Oral Presentation and Paper: 6th STS Italia Conference - Sociotechnical Environments, Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies and University of Trento, Italy.

20-21 October 2016

Oral Presentation and Paper: Ethics and Politics of Community Engagement in Global Health Research Workshop, University of Oxford, UK. (Recipient of bursary for conference attendance).

 28-29 June 2016

Oral Presentation: The Changing Political Economy of Research and Innovation: 'Producing and experimenting with publics in new political economies,' University of Liege, Belgium

•From regulation to information: A patient-side approach to stem cell tourism.


24-27 June 2015

Poster Presentation: International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2015 at Stockholm, Sweden.

From information to regulation. An 'informed trust' approach to stem cell tourism. (Panel: Ethics and Public Policy: pp 381 - poster T-1537)

18 May 2015

Oral Presentation: King's India Institute Graduate Forum Conference 2015: Sources and Manifestations of 'Change' in comtemporary India, King's College London, London. UK.

Models of biomedical innovation and global governance: the case of stem cell treatments (Panel 4: Technology Policy and its Discontents).

31 March 2015

Oral Presentation: 1st International Consensus Conference of the EUCelLEX project held 30-31 March 2015 at Hospital Pierre Paul Riquet (INSERM U 1027) in Toulouse, France. Organised by  UMR U 1027, Inserm, Université de Toulouse – Université Paul Sabatier -Toulouse III (Team 4: ” Genomics, biotherapy and public health : interdisciplinary approach”).   

•Markets and professional cultures in conflict in stem cell innovation •Models of biomedical innovation and global governance: the case of stem cell treatments  Link to Poster and Presentation                                            

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