Prof Aisling McMahon

Law, ALL Institute, Human Health Institute


New House
(01) 4747508


Aisling is a Professor of Law, Maynooth University, and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council funded PatentsInHumans project. She is an internationally recognised expert in health law and intellectual property law. She is particularly interested in the regulation of emerging health-technologies, and the role of (bio)ethics within intellectual property law decision-making.

In 2022, she was awarded the Maynooth University Faculty of Social Science Early Career Research Achievement Award, and in 2023, she was awarded the national Irish Research Council Early Career Researcher of the Year Award  on the basis of her research achievements. Alongside this, she has been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford (Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar), the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, the Hastings Center New York, and most recently, the Department of Law, European University Institute (EUI) in Florence.  

In April 2024, she was appointed by the Minister for Health as a member of the Irish National Research Ethics Committee for Clinical Trials which reviews ethics applications related to Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMP) in Ireland. Aisling is a member of the International Editorial Advisory Board of the Medical Law Review (2024-2026) a leading international health law journal; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Network for Empirical Legal Studies in Intellectual Property (2023-present). In 2018, she co-founded the UK and Ireland Patent Scholars Network and continues to co-convene this network with Prof Naomi Hawkins and Dr Karen Walsh. The network now has over 40 members drawn from patent practice and academia in the UK and Ireland, with annual events in Ireland/UK.

She has published widely in leading international specialist and generalist peer reviewed law and ethics journals on these issues including: Medical Law Review, Legal StudiesInternational and Comparative Law Quarterly, the International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC), Intellectual Property Quarterly, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics and the Journal of Medical Ethics. Her work is informed by novel interdisciplinary approaches to develop legal and policy avenues to address or engage with ethical issues posed by intellectual property rights, and in the health innovation and health regulation more generally. 

Aisling's work has also been funded by national and international sources including: the British Academy/Leverhulme, the Irish Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Society of Legal Scholars. In 2022, she was awarded a highly prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant (1.5million) for a 5-year 'PatentsInHumans' project which examines the role of bioethics in the patenting and licensing of technologies related to the human body in Europe.  She was the Principal Investigator on the Irish Research Council New Foundations funded 'Patient Access to Advanced Cancer Therapies' (PAACT) project which examined the current landscape for provision of CAR-T therapies in Ireland, and the legal, regulatory, ethical, and broader policy challenges which arise. She currently leads the IRC New Foundations ACCESS project (‘Advanced Cancer Care: Enhancing Systems and Structures to Deliver In-House Personalised Therapies for Patients via the Hospital Exemption’) which examines the hospital exemption pathway in the context of cancer therapies. These projects are run in conjunction with civil society partner Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Aisling is regularly invited to participate in high level policy events/fora, and has presented her research to leading international organisations, including: the World Health Organisation, and the US National Academy of Sciences.  Her work has been cited widely nationally and internationally, 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.

She was Managing Editor (2012-2013) and Editor-in-Chief (2013-2015) of SCRIPTed Journal of Law, Technology and Society, and was the Book Reviews Editor for Medical Law International  (2017-2021). 

Prior to joining Maynooth University in 2018, Aisling held academic positions in Durham University where she was deputy convener of the Centre for Ethics Law and the Life Sciences (CELLS); and Newcastle University. She holds a PhD in Law (University of Edinburgh), BCL and LLM (Law, Technology and Governance) (first class honours) degrees from the University of Galway. Aisling teaches modules on medical law and intellectual property in Maynooth University. She welcomes enquiries from applicants for PhD supervision in topics related to patent law,  health law or on the regulation of emerging technologies.

Research Interests

Aisling’s research specialises in medical and intellectual property law. She is particularly interested in the regulation of emerging health technologies and the relationship between intellectual property and bioethical concerns relating to emerging health-related technologies. Recent projects include work funded by the British Academy examining the divergent legal approaches to gene patentability that have emerged in the EU, US, and Canada. This research adopts a comparative institutional approach to highlight the influences shaping these legal approaches, the practical consequences of their adoption, and the factors underlying their disjunction with social expectations on access to diagnostic testing. Aisling’s PhD from the University of Edinburgh examined the morality provisions in the European patent system for biotechnological inventions.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
ACCESS Project - Advanced Cancer Care: Enhancing Systems and Structures to Deliver In-House Personalised Therapies for Patients via the Hospital Exemption PI Access to personalised cancer therapies including CAR-T therapy is difficult to deliver in public health systems given the high costs (approx. €450,000/patient) under traditional innovation models. Sustainable pathways to deliver cost-effective access to such therapies are needed. The hospital exemption is one such pathway which allows hospitals, under certain conditions, to produce tailored personalised therapies for patients. Yet, there is uncertainty around how this avenue can be used. This project fills this gap - examining the extent that it could be used in Ireland to deliver access to CAR-T, potential barriers and whether it could enhance patient access and clinical autonomy. 01/12/2023 31/08/2024 11990
PatentsInHumans: Patents, Bioethics and the Human Body: Reconceptualising Bioethics in Patent Decision-Making and the Governance Function of Patents PI PatentsInHumans challenges the current marginalisation of bioethics in patent decision-making for technologies related to the human body. A patent gives a rightsholder the right to stop others using a patented technology. This allows them to control how that technology is provided, to whom, and on what terms. Where patents are for technologies related to the body, this control poses considerable bioethical issues because patents can affect how we treat, use and modify bodies. Yet patent systems generally do not engage with such implications. All patents are treated the same, regardless of the underlying technology i.e. a patent on an engine part is treated the same as a patent on a medicine, despite the significant effects the latter has for health. PatentsInHumans proposes that there is a self-reinforcing cycle where patents are granted even if bioethical implications are posed by patents over such technologies; that there are limited incentives for rightsholders to license patents in a way that addresses bioethical implications, and that patents, once granted, are difficult to challenge if bioethical issues arise. PatentsInHumans radically reconceptualises patents as governance devices over the body in such contexts. It proposes that when patents are applied for, the underlying technology’s relationship to the body must be considered. The project will therefore evaluate the bioethical implications that patents over such technologies have for how we treat, use, or modify our bodies. These implications must guide patent decisionmaking and the adoption of licensing or grant conditions that pre-empt bioethical issues. The project develops a cross disciplinary institutional analysis to evaluate key legal, structural and cultural barriers leading to the marginalisation of bioethics in patent decision-making, and to formulate pathways to bring bioethics into patent decision-making for technologies related to the body with important conceptual and policy implications 01/11/2022 31/10/2027 1498870.09
The Legal & Ethical Impacts of Emerging Reproductive Technologies: A Human Rights-Based Analysis of Complete Ectogenesis from an Irish Perspective (GOI PhD Alanna Kells) PI 01/09/2022 31/08/2026 119833.33
Law, Ethics and the Patient Experience of Advanced Cancer Therapies: A focus on CAR-T PI The project is currently at an early stage.The PI is exploring partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research Ireland to work on the legal/ethical framework for access/delivery of advanced cancer therapies to Irish patients (focusing on CAR-T therapies as a case study). The project aims to work in conjunction with Breakthrough Cancer Research Ireland to examine Irish patients' experience of accessing such therapies in Ireland or abroad, and lessons which can be drawn from such experiences to feed into an evaluation of how current legal/ethical principles and reforms necessary to facilitate best interests of patients involved. 01/03/2021 01/12/2021 11997.8
EI Supports for ERC StG 2021 PI 16/06/2020 15/06/2021 15612
Social and Sustainability Bonds –Funding a more sustainable future for healthcare? Co-Investigator The growing global focus on social, environmental and sustainability issues has shone a spotlight on whether sustainable finance products, including capital markets products such as bonds, can be used to alleviate such issues. This project brings together expertise within sustainable finance and global health. It will critically appraise the suitability of social and sustainability bonds as a mechanism for funding healthcare projects, assessing in particular how such instruments could facilitate the fulfilment by states of their right to health obligations as enshrined in international legal treaties. It will also establish the groundwork for longer-term collaboration between the Co-Is, and more broadly within the MUSSI community and externally by establishing a multidisciplinary sustainability research network. 01/03/2021 31/08/2021 2984
SLS Small Projects and Events Fund: Patent Scholars Network Co-Investigator Funding awarded by Society of Legal Scholars to support the continuation of a Patent Scholars Network for the UK and the Republic of Ireland(RoI), which we (Dr McMahon, Dr Hawkins and Dr Walsh) established in 2019. 20/05/2020 1880
Maynooth University Conference Support Fund Co-Investigator The UK and Ireland Patent Scholars Network conference was held in Maynooth University on 20th and 21st June 2019, organized by Dr Aisling McMahon (Maynooth University) together with co-founders of the network Dr Naomi Hawkins and Dr Karen Walsh (Exeter University). The conference attracted leading patent law scholars and practitioners working in the UK and Ireland over two days of works-in-progress papers and discussions on contemporary patent law issues. 20/06/2019 21/06/2019 1500
Patents, Biotechnology and Licensing for Ethical Consdierations PI Patents on health-related biotechnologies give rise to significant ethical issues. Patents give the patent holder control over the use of an invention for the duration of patent grant, facilitated through licensing. They can refuse licensing creating a monopoly over the technology or impose restrictions on licensing of patents for particular uses. The gives rise to three main ethical issues: (1) questions around access and quality of patented health technologies for individual patients and researchers; (2) ethical issues around whether certain types of biotechnologies, related to living material, should be patentable including questions of commodification of living, dignity etc; (3) questions around the role of patent holders as drivers/shapers of technology, and the appropriateness of this role, exacerbated by the fact that recently licensing is being used to include ‘ethical’ restrictions dictated by patent holders, e.g., in the Broad Institute’s licensing of CRISPR-Cas9 technologies it made licensees agree not to use the technologies for specific uses including gene drives. Limited attention has been given to the third category which is the core focus of this project, and relatedly, how rather than divesting such control to patent holders, instead overarching regulatory restrictions on patent-holder’s licensing practices for ethically contentious technology could address broader ethical issues. 01/05/2019 31/01/2020 4360
Caroline Miles Fellowship - Ethox Centre Oxford University Awardee 01/04/2017 30/04/2017 2213
Gene Patentablity: A comparative institutional analysis of the US, Canadian and European Approaches. Principal Investigator Patents over genes and related diagnostic tests are highly controversial as they can increase costs of diagnostic tests, reducing patients’ access to genetic testing and access for researchers. There is little clarity on the merits of different legal approaches to this issue. Against this background, this project examines the divergent legal approaches to gene patentability that have emerged in the EU, US, and Canada, using a comparative institutional approach to highlight both why they emerged and what their practical consequences have been. Drawing on interviews with key actors as well as a close analysis of the legal regimes and the public controversies about those regimes (if any), it explores how each jurisdiction’s institutional context – the patent and healthcare systems, and other applicable formal and informal institutions – affected the evolution and success of that jurisdiction’s approach to resolving issues of access, and its social reception and consequences. This will fill a significant gap and has the potential to effect deep change in current approaches to this area 01/04/2017 01/04/2018 9810
ESRC Impact Accelerator Award - Public Law Reform Now Co-Investigator Funding for work on 'Public Law Reform Now 2016-2020' project, including symposium in University of Sussex on ‘Public Law Reform’. 24/06/2016 6470
Newcastle University Seed Award - Gene Editing Law and Regulation Co-Investigator 01/01/2016 1213

Post Doctoral Fellows / Research Team

Researcher Name Project Funding Body
Opeyemi Kolawole ERC PatentsInHumans Project
Sinead Masterson ERC PatentsInHumans

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2024 Aisling McMahon; Opeyemi Kolawole (2024) 'Biobank Donation in Search of Public Benefits Amidst the Potential Impact of IPRs over Access to Health-Technologies Developed: A Focus on the Bioethical Implications'. Medical Law Review, Forthcoming . [Full-Text]
2023 Geiger, S.; McMahon, A. (2023) 'Analysis of the institutional landscape and proliferation of proposals for global vaccine equity for COVID-19: too many cooks or too many recipes?'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 49 . [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 Thambisetty, S.; McMahon, A.; McDonagh, L.; Kang, H.Y.; Dutfield, G. (2022) 'Addressing Vaccine Inequity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Trips Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal and beyond'. Cambridge Law Journal, 81 . [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 Emma Cave & Aisling McMahon (2022) 'Should States Restrict Recipient Choice Amongst Relevant and Available COVID-19 Vacccines?'. Medical Law Review, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2022 Aisling McMahon & Edana Richardson (2022) 'Patents, Healthcare & Engaged Shareholders: A Pathway to Encourage Socially Responsible Patent Use?'. Legal Studies, Forthcoming .
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) 'Patents, Companies and Control: Ethics and the Patenting of Advanced Biotechnologies & Novel Beings?'. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 30 (3). [Full-Text]
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) 'Global equitable access to vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for Covid-19: The role of patents as private governance'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 47 (3):142-148. [Full-Text]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) 'Patents, access to health and COVID-19: The role of compulsory and government-use licensing in Ireland'. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 71 (3):331-359. [Full-Text]
2020 J. Allen, D.M. Doyle, S. McCorristine and A. McMahon (2020) 'De-Extinction, Regulation and Nature Conservation'. Journal of Environmental Law, 32 :309-322. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) 'Biotechnology, Health and Patents as Private Governance Tools: The Good, the Bad and the Potential for Ugly?'. Intellectual Property Quarterly, (3):161-179.
2020 Martin P.; Morrison M.; Turkmendag I.; Nerlich B.; McMahon A.; deSaille S.; Barlett A. (2020) 'Genome editing: the dynamics of continuity, convergence, and change in the engineering of life'. New Genetics and Society, 39 (2):2019-252. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2020 McMahon A.; Doyle D.M. (2020) 'Patentability and De-extinct Animals in Europe: The Patented Woolly Mammoth'. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, . [Full-Text]
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) 'Gene Patents and the Marginalisation of Ethical Issues'. European Intellectual Property Review, 41 (10):608-620. [Full-Text]
2019 Aisling McMahon; Alena Buyx, Barbara Prainsack (2019) 'Big data governance needs more collective responsibility: The role of harm mitigation in the governance of data use in medicine and beyond'. Medical Law Review, 28 (1):155-182. [Full-Text]
2019 Bríd Ní Ghráinne & Aisling McMahon (2019) 'Access to Abortion in Cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormality: A New Direction for the European Court of Human Rights?''. Human Rights Law Review, 19 (3):561-584. [Full-Text]
2019 Bríd Ní Ghráinne & Aisling McMahon (2019) 'Abortion in Northern Ireland and the ECHR: Reflections from the UK Supreme Court'. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 68 (2):477-494. [Full-Text]
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) 'Brexit and the Unitary Patent Package: A Further Compromised Future?'. SCRIPted, 15 (2):175-208. [Link] [Full-Text]
2017 Bríd Ní Ghráinne; Aisling McMahon (2017) 'A Public International Law Approach to Safeguard Nationality for Surrogate-Born Children'. Legal Studies, 37 (2):324-342. [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 Aisling McMahon (2017) 'An Institutional Examination of the Implications of the Unitary Patent Package for the Morality Provisions: A Fragmented future too Far?'. IIC International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 48 (1):42-70. [Link] [Full-Text]
2014 Shawn Harmon & Aisling McMahon (2014) 'Banking (on) the Brain: From Consent to Authorisation and the Transformative Potential of Solidarity'. Medical Law Review, 22 (4):572-605. [Link]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2024 Aisling McMahon; Ciara Staunton (2024) 'Managing access to health data for research and innovation in the EU: is a better regulatory approach possible?' In: confidentiality, Privacy, and Data Protection in Biomedicine: International Concepts and Issues. United Kingdom : Routledge.
2023 Aisling McMahon (2023) 'Decision-Makers, Institutional Influences and the Role of Ethical issues in the Patenting of Biotechnological Inventions in Europe: Enter the Unitary Patent System' In: Research Handbook on European Patent Law: The European Patent Convention, the European Patent with Unitary Effect and Unified Patent Court. Germany : de Gruyter Publishing. [Full-Text]
2022 Aisling McMahon (2022) 'Institutions, Interpretive Communities and Legacy in Decision-Making' In: Law and Legacy in Medical Jurisprudence: Essays in Honour of Graeme Laurie. United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press.
2022 Aisling McMahon (2022) 'The ‘Ethical’ Regulation of Novel Being Technologies: The Potential Role for Patents as Drivers, Blockers and Ethical Guiders' In: Novel Beings: Regulatory Approaches for a Future of New Intelligent Life. United Kingdom : Edward Elgar.
2022 Aisling McMahon (2022) 'Accounting for Ethical Considerations in the Licensing of Patented Biotechnologies and Health-Related Technologies: A Justification' In: Patenting Biotechnological Innovation: Eligibility, Ethics and Public Interest. Cheltenham, United Kingdom : Edward Elgar.
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) 'Regulatory Authorities and Decision-Making in Health Research: The Institutional Dimension' In: Cambridge Handbook of Health Research Regulation. London : Cambridge University Press. [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) 'Contractual Enforceability and Surrogacy Arrangements: Mapping the moral limits' In: Contract Law and the Legislature: Autonomy, Expectations and the Making of Legal Doctrine. London : Hart Publishing.
2020 TT Arvind and Aisling McMahon (2020) 'Commodification, control, and the contractualisation of the human body' In: The limits of the market: commodification of nature and body. Paris : Mare&Martin. [Full-Text]
2016 Aisling McMahon (2016) '‘Patents, Human Biobanks and Access to Health Benefits: Bridging the Public–Private Divide’' In: Intellectual Property and Access to Im/Material Goods. UK : Edward Elgar. [Link]
2014 Aisling McMahon (2014) 'Children and Social Networking : An Irish Perspective' In: Social Networking: Law, Rights and Policy. Dublin : Clarus Press.

Working Paper

Year Publication
2021 Siva Thambisetty, Aisling McMahon, Luke McDonagh, Hyo Yoon Kang, Graham Dutfield (2021) The TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal: Creating the Right Incentives in Patent Law and Politics to end the COVID-19 Pandemic. LSE, London: [Working Paper] [Link]
2021 Susi Geiger & Aisling McMahon (2021) Too Many Cooks or too many Recipes? An analysis of the institutional landscape and proliferation of proposals for Global Vaccine Equity for COVID-19. Geary Institute, UCD Working Paper Series, Dublin: [Working Paper] [Link] [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2022 Naomi Hawkins, Aisling McMahon, Karen Walsh (2022) 'Editorial: Special Issue: Patents in a Changing Europe' European Intellectual Property Review, .
2019 Aisling McMahon & Bríd Ní Ghrainne (2019) 'After the 8th: Ireland, Abortion and International Law' Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland, 25 (1) :22-40. [Full-Text]
2011 Aisling McMahon (2011) 'The Legal Status of Embryos in vitro in Ireland- A ‘precarious’ position' Enterprise Systems and Technology, :17-7.
2010 Aisling McMahon (2010) 'Journalists' Privilege in light of Mahon v. Keena' Irish Law Times, 28 .

Published Report

Year Publication
2023 Aisling mcmahon; Alanna kells; Sinéad Masterson (2023) Access and Provision of CAR-T Therapies in Ireland for Cancer Care: The Current & Future Landscape, Opportunities and Challenges: Legal, Ethical and Broader Policy Considerations. Maynooth University Authors, . [Link] [Full-Text]
2012 A McMahon and S H E Harmon (2012) Banking (On) the Brain: A Report on the Legal and Regulatory Concerns. SCRIPTed Journal of Law and Society, . [Link]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2021 Luke McDonagh & Aisling McMahon (2021) Opinion: To solve Covid-19 vaccine inequity Ireland should support the TRIPS waiver. Ireland: [Newspaper Articles] [Link]


Year Publication
2022 Aisling McMahon & Susi Geiger (2022) Securing a future without COVID-19: The need to prioritise concerted global action on global access to vaccines. [Blog]
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) Why global access to vaccines is essential to end the pandemic. [Blog] [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) How patents will affect pandemic vaccines and treatments. [Blog] [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Patents, private governance and access to vaccines and treatments for Covid-19. [Blog] [Link]
2019 Aisling McMahon, Alena Buyx and Barbara Prainsack (2019) How big data can affect your bank account – and life. UK: [Blog] [Link]
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Will a new policy mean more organ donations in Ireland?. Ireland: [Blog] [Link]
2018 Aisling McMahon & Bríd NíGhráinne (2018) Ireland’s 8th amendment is a breach of its own human rights commitments. [Blog] [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Access to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines: patents and compulsory licensing in the spotlight. [Blog] [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Covid-19, Patents & Healthcare: The Need for A (Bio)ethics Space within Patent Law. [Blog] [Link]
2017 Aisling McMahon (2017) Gene Patents and Access to Health: Speaking At But Not To Each Other?. Ethox Centre, University of Oxford: [Blog] [Link]


Year Publication
2013 Aisling McMahon and Laura Downey (2013) Editorial: SCRIPTed: News and Reflection. Edinburgh: [Editorial] [Link]

Electronic Article

Year Publication
2020 Edana Richardson and Aisling McMahon (2020) Are social bonds an option for Ireland's coronavirus recovery?. [Electronic Article] [Link]


Year Publication
2012 Aisling McMahon & Shawn Harmon (2012) Banking (On) the Brain: A Report on the Legal and Regulatory Concerns. [Report] [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2017 Aisling McMahon (2017) Book Review: Surrogacy, Law and Human Rights. [Book Review]
2012 Aisling McMahon (2012) Law and the Regulation of Medicines. [Book Review]
2012 Aisling McMahon (2012) Uma Suthersan, Graham Dutfield & Kit Boey Chen (Eds), Innovation without Patents: Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World. [Book Review]

Policy Contribution

Year Publication
2021 Response to the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing Reports Human Genome Editing: A Framework for Governance and Recommendations (2021) The Role of Patents and Licensing in the Governance of Human Genome Editing: A White Paper. [Policy Contribution] [Link]
2021 Aisling McMahon, Kieran Harkin, Access to Medicines Ireland (2021) Opening Statement Oireachtas Committee - Equitable Access to Covid-19 Vaccines for Low and Middle Income Countries: Access to Medicines Ireland. [Policy Contribution] [Link]
2020 Aisling McMahon & Access to Medicines Ireland (2020) Position Paper: Ireland should support the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (CTAP). [Policy Contribution] [Link]
2018 Bríd Ní Ghráinne; Aisling McMahon (2018) Ireland is Likely to Liberalise Abortion Laws. [Policy Contribution]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2023 Aisling McMahon (2023) Economic, Legal, Social, and Political Perspectives on Public Policy, Department of Economics “Patents, Pandemics and Public Health Access to Vaccines: Lessons from COVID-19 on the Bioethics Gap” Maynooth University, .
2023 Aisling McMahon (2023) Novel Beings: Regulatory Approaches for a Future of New Intelligent Life, Newcastle University “The “ethical” regulation of “novel being” technologies: the potential role for patents as ethical drivers, blockers and guiders?” Newcastle University, 30/03/2023-.
2023 Aisling McMahon (2023) Immunology and Global Health Seminar, Maynooth University “Patents, Access to Healthcare and Covid-19: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights & Mechanisms to Alleviate Access Issues” Maynooth University, .
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) Intellectual Property Law Scholarship and Pedagogy in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic Panel Discussion on Intellectual Property Law Scholarship and Pedagogy in Times of COVID-19 Pandemic Virtual - Center for Social Critiques of Law, Kent Law School and International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP), 01/07/2021-01/07/2021.
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Comhlámh November First Wednesdays: Solidarity and justice treatments & vaccines for COVID19 Solidarity and justice treatments & vaccines for COVID19: Intellectual Property Virtual Event, 05/11/2020-05/11/2020.
2021 Aisling McMahon & Edana Richardson (2021) SASE Conference - Mini Conference Stream: Regulatory Stakeholders and Medicines Valuation Patents, Corporate Decision-Making & the Engaged Shareholder: A Pathway to Encourage Socially Responsible Patent Use in Healthcare Virtual - SASE Annual Conference 2021, 03/07/2021-03/07/2021.
2021 Edana Richardson and Aisling McMahon (2021) SASE: Conference - Mini Conference Stream: Financial Markets in Times of Instability and Authoritarianism The Use of Social and Sustainability Bonds in the Context of COVID-19 – Funding a More Sustainable Future for Healthcare? Virtual - SASE Annual Conference 2021, 03/07/2021-03/07/2021.
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) Global Health and Pro Bono: The Universal Right to Health for COVID-19 How can pro bono support  the right to Health and promote universal health coverage? Virtual - Advocates for International Development (A4ID), 25/06/2021-25/06/2021.
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) Patents on Covid-19 Vaccines: A need for State intervention? Panel Discussion - Patents on Covid-19 Vaccines: A need for State intervention? Virtual - Amnesty International University Group, University of Passau, Germany, 09/06/2021-09/06/2021.
2021 Aisling McMahon (2021) Global inequity in COVID-19 vaccination Global Health Matters – Live Event Series - Global inequity in COVID-19 vaccination Virtual Recording Panel - Co hosted with Access to Medicines Ireland, SafetyNet Primary Care, Oxfam Ireland and Concern Worldwide, 19/03/2021-19/03/2021.
2021 Aisling McMahon & Kieran Harkin (2021) Oireachtas Joint Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defence - Committee Hearing Oireachtas Hearing: Access to Covid-19 vaccines for low and middle-income countries Appeared via video link - Oireachtas Committee, Dáil Chamber, 09/02/2021-09/02/2021.
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) WEBINAR SERIES – Irish Global Health Network and ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships Webinar 20: Conversations on COVID-19 – Vaccines: the end of the Covid-19 Pandemic? Virtual Event: Live Streamed, 27/11/2020-27/11/2020.
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) UK and Ireland Patent Scholars Network Patents, Access to Healthcare and Covid-19: The Role, Limits and Case for Reform of Compulsory Licensing Laws Virtual Event, 05/11/2020-05/11/2020.
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Comhlamh First Wednesday - Solidarity and justice in developing and delivering vaccines for COVID19 Panel Discussion: Solidarity and justice in developing and delivering vaccines for COVID19 Virtual Recorded Event - Co-hosted by Cómhlamh and the Department of International Development Maynooth University, 04/11/2020-04/11/2020.
2023 Aisling McMahon (2023) Law and Futures Seminar “’Technology, Medicine and the Human Body”, Newcastle Law School (Invited) “Patents on Technologies Related to the Human Body: The Urgent Need for Greater Bioethics Scrutiny” Newcastle University, UK, 31/03/2023-.
2020 Aisling McMahon and Ilke Turkmendag (2020) Society of Legal Scholars Conference 2020 Mitochondrial Donation, CRISPR Gene Editing: Blurred Lines & Regulatory Boundaries Virtual Conference, 01/09/2020-04/09/2020.
2020 Aisling McMahon (2020) Health law and ethics (Inaugural Seminar – Invited) Biotechnology, Patents and Licensing for ‘Ethical Use’: A Regulatory Opportunity? Queen’s University Belfast, 27/02/2020-27/02/2020.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) American Society of International Law ‘Patents and Ethically Contentious Biotechnologies: A Global Regulatory Approach via International Patent Law Brooklyn University New York, 07/11/2019-09/11/2019.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Durham CELLS Research Seminar ‘Biotechnology and Patent Licensing for ‘Ethical’ Use’ Durham University, 30/10/2019-.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Patents and Emerging Technologies Workshop Biotechnology & Patent Licensing for ‘Ethical’ Use: A Proposal for Regulatory Intervention Wellcome Trust, London, 19/11/2019-20/11/2019.
2019 TT Arvind and Aisling McMahon (2019) World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research Contractualisation, commodification and the human body University of Lund, Sweden, 21/09/2019-.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) ATRIP “Patent licensing for ‘ethical’ use: A missed regulatory opportunity?” Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 26/08/2019-.
2019 Aisling McMahon and David Doyle (2019) Patent Scholars Network Workshop Patents and De-extinction Maynooth University, 20/06/2019-21/06/2019.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) RIBS/CEBIL Symposium Gene Patents and the Marginalisation of Ethical Issues Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (CEBIL), University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, 12/06/2019-12/06/2019.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Regulation and Innovation in the Biosciences(RIBS) Patent Licensing for ‘Ethical’ Use: A missed regulatory opportunity? Centre for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law, 10/06/2019-11/06/2019.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Patent Scholars Network Workshop Biotechnology and Patents as Private Governance Tools? University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 11/04/2019-12/04/2019.
2019 Aisling McMahon (2019) Contract Law and the Legislature Workshop ‘Contracts and the Human Body: Mapping the moral limits’ University of York, United Kingdom, 11/01/2019-12/01/2019.
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) American Society of International Law Research Forum ‘Emerging Biotechnologies, Morality & Overlapping Supra-national frameworks in the ‘European Patent System’ UCLA, Los Angeles, 09/11/2018-11/11/2018.
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) Regulating the Tyrell Corporation: Company Law and the emergence of Novel Beings Patents as Private Governance Tools: The Good, The Bad and The Potential for Ugly? Wellcome Trust, London, 25/10/2018-26/10/2018.
2018 TT Arvind and Aisling McMahon (2018) The Limits of the Market: Commodification of nature and body (Interdisciplinary Workshop) Commodification, control, and the contractualisation of the human body University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, 13/09/2018-14/09/2018.
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) Society of Legal Scholars Conference Emerging Biotechnologies, Morality and Overlapping Supra-national frameworks in the “European Patent System”: Too Many Cooks? Queen Mary University of London, 04/09/2018-04/09/2018.
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) Works in Progress Intellectual Property Law Colloquium Gene Patents and Access to Health: A Critical Comparative Analysis Case Western University Ohio, 16/02/2018-.
2018 Aisling McMahon (2018) Oxford Intellectual Property Invited Speakers’ Series Gene Patents and Access to Health: Bridging an Institutional Divide’ St Peters College Oxford University, 01/02/2018-.
2018 Aisling McMahon and TT Arvind (2018) Durham CELLS Seminar Montgomery and the Limits of Autonomy Durham University, 29/01/2018-.
2017 Aisling McMahon (2017) The Everyday Cyborg: Mapping Legal, Ethical, & Conceptual Workshop Patents, the Human Body, and the Biotechnology Directive 98/44EC’ Newcastle University, 08/12/2017-.
2017 Aisling McMahon (2017) World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research Gene Patents and Access to Medicines’ Utrecht University, 15/09/2017-.
2017 Aisling McMahon & TT Arvind (2017) Society of Legal Scholars Conference Montgomery and the Limits of Autonomy’ University College Dublin, 07/09/2017-.
2016 Aisling McMahon; Bríd Ní Ghráinne (2016) Sheffield Law School Research Seminar Ireland, Abortion and the European Convention on Human Rights’ Sheffield Law School, 23/11/2016-.
2016 Aisling McMahon; Bríd Ní Ghráinne (2016) American Society of International Law, Mid-Year Meeting Ireland, Abortion, and International Law University of Washington, Seattle, 12/11/2016-.
2016 Aisling McMahon (2016) Public Law Reform Now Conference The Limits of Judicial Review for Transnational Governance: A Case Study of the European Patent Office University of Sussex, 21/09/2016-.
2016 Aisling McMahon (2016) International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) Law Congress Embryonic Stem Cells, Morality and Overlapping Supra-national frameworks in the European Patent System: Too many cooks? Jagiellonian University, Kraków, 28/06/2016-.
2016 Aisling McMahon (2016) International Association of Bioethics (IAB) World Congress The Myriad Gene Patent Cases and Controversy: Balancing Public and Private Interests in the patentability of health-related inventions’ University of Edinburgh, 15/06/2016-.
2015 Aisling McMahon & Bríd Ní Ghráínne (2015) American Society of International Law, Research Forum Whose Subjects, and Subject to Whose Laws? Stateless Children’ American University Washington College of Law, 24/10/2015-.
2015 Bríd Ní Ghráinne; Aisling McMahon (2015) Transnational Law and Social Justice International Surrogacy Agreements: Statelessness and the Concept of the 'Family' in Transnational Contexts London School of Economics, UK, .
2015 Aisling McMahon (2015) Society of Legal Scholars Conference Stateless Children in the Context of International Surrogacy Agreements’ University of York, 03/09/2015-.
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP) Member -
Socio Legal Studies Association Member -
Society of Legal Scholars Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
21/11/2023 Irish Research Council Early Career Researcher of the Year Irish Research Council
01/01/2022 Maynooth University Faculty of Social Sciences Early Career Researcher of the Year Maynooth University
01/10/2022 EUI Visiting Fellow EUI
01/01/2017 British Academy/Leverhulme Grant British Academy/Leverhulme
01/04/2017 Caroline Miles Visiting Scholarship Ethox Centre, University of Oxford
01/01/2016 ESRC Impact Accelerator Fund, Newcastle University (Co-Investigator) Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC) (UK)
01/01/2016 Faculty Research Fund, Newcastle University (Co-Investigator) Newcastle University
01/09/2012 University of Edinburgh, Principal's PhD Career Development Scholarship University of Edinburgh
01/01/2008 Michael MacNamara Scholarship for LLM Law, Technology & Governance (NUIG) RDJ Glynn Solicitors, Galway


Committee Function From / To
National Research Ethics Committee for Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CT-A) Member 21/04/2024 -
International Editorial Advisory Board Medical Law Review Member International Editorial Advisory Board 01/01/2024 -
International Editorial Advisory Board of Legal Studies Member 06/04/2024 -
International Advisory Board of the Network for Empirical Legal Studies in Intellectual Property Member 01/09/2023 -
Director, Internationalisation, School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University Director 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2022
UK and Ireland Patents Scholars Network Co-Covenor and Co-Founder UK and Ireland Patents Scholars Network 01/04/2019 -

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
SCRIPted Editor-in-Chief 01/09/2013 - 31/08/2015

Teaching Interests

Aisling has taught law for over 15 years, and in this time has taught a range of law modules including: medical law, intellectual property law, contract law, advanced legal methods, criminal law and equity and trusts at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. She has also taught law in several institutions prior to joining Maynooth, including, Edinburgh University, Newcastle University and Durham University.  She holds a Newcastle Teaching Award (2015) a teaching qualification comprising 40 credits at Masters level and she is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). Aisling was nominated for Taught Supervisor of the Year and Innovative Teaching Methods awards in Newcastle University’s Teaching Excellence Awards. 

In Maynooth University, Aisling teaches: LW469 Contemporary Issues in Medical Law, LW499 Intellectual Property Law and Disruptive Technologies, and LW610 Patents, Health and Biotechnologies. She has also previously taught: LW351 Equity and Trusts in Maynooth University. She has supervised research projects on a range of topics in the medical law, intellectual property and regulation of emerging technologies fields, and would welcome enquires from applicants considering Master by research, and PhD study in these fields.

She is currently supervising four PhD researchers on a range of topics related to health law, intellectual property rights and the regulation of emerging technologies more generally:

  • Shane Gough, Thesis Title: "Freedom to Think in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" (Co-supervised with Prof Aphra Kerr).
  • Alanna Kells, Thesis Title: "The Legal & Ethical Impacts of Emerging Reproductive Technologies: A Human RIghts based analysis of Ectogenesis" 
  • Ethan Shattock, Thesis Title: "Online Disinformation, Informed Democracy, and Human Rights." (Co-supervised with Dr Maria Murphy).
  • Oscar Verdoire, "The Metaverse: A New frontier for Copyright and the Protection of User Generated Content" (Co-Supervised with Dr Karen Walsh)

Current Students

Student Name Degree Supervision