Tania Bubela

Professor Dean

Health Sciences

Tania Bubela

Professor, Dean

Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Health and biotechnology law and policy, knowledge translation in health


  • BSc Honours, Australian National University
  • PhD, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Juris Doctor with Distinction, University of Alberta
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (FRSC)


Dr. Bubela was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in September 2017. Prior to that appointment, she was Professor and Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Public Health and Adjunct Professor in Alberta Business at the University of Alberta (UofA), Canada. She joined the faculty of the UofA in 2004 after clerking for The Honourable Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada, articling at Field Law LLP in Edmonton, and being called to the bar (Law Society of Alberta) in 2005. Her research program in intellectual property and health law, focused on translational biomedical research, brings together her legal training and a PhD in biology and expertise in genetics and molecular biology. Her research program focuses on large collaborative science networks in genomics, gene therapy, and stem cell biology. It addresses barriers to the development and effective translation of new technologies. These are varied and include ethical issues, effective communication of risks and benefits among stakeholder groups, commercialization and regulation. She provides advice for governmental health and science agencies as well as life sciences research communities, and patient organisations. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, BioCanRx, the Canadian Stem Cell Network, Genome Canada, and Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, among others. She co-leads the PACEOMICS program on the development of cost-effective personalized medicine and the Alberta Ocular Gene Therapy Team, which is developing novel gene therapies and conducting a phase I clinical trial of the NighstaRx AAV2-REP1 product for choroideremia. She has over 100 publications in law, ethics and science policy journals including articles in Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Cell Stem Cell, PLoS Biology, Trends in Biotechnology, American Journal of Bioethics and Science Translational Medicine.

Research interests

My research program focuses on three main areas in health and biotechnology law and policy:

Knowledge translation in health, biotechnology and new technologies in biomedicine: This area of research explores how health and biotechnology research is represented by the research community, industry, politicians, policy makers, the popular media, internet sites and other public venues. My research compares the translational layers between these stakeholder groups, using a combination of qualitative (key informant interviews and focus groups) and quantitative research methods (lexicographic analysis, text coding, and statistical modelling). My research group analyses social and traditional media.

Impacts of innovation, commercialization/open science and intellectual property policies on scientific culture and the conduct of translational research and clinical trials: My research group has developed a range of novel bibliometric and scientometric methods to address policy questions. We use these in combination with more traditional methods such as surveys, key informant interviews, social network analysis, and statistical modelling.

Use of commons theory to analyze the institutional development and governance of bioresource and data repositories for biomedical research: This research also addresses access and benefit sharing and research partnerships between developed and developing countries.

Teaching interests

Case-based learning in health law and administration and intellectual property law and technology commercialization.

Publications and activities