Tania Bubela PhD, JD

Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Research)

School of Public Health
3-093A Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405-87 Ave
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 1C9
Phone: +1-780-492-9335
Fax: +780.248.1546

Tania Bubela has been a professor at the School of Public Health since 2008 and was appointed as Associate Dean (Research) in 2014 and also holds an appointment as adjunct professor in the School of Business.

Dr. Bubela holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree (1988) from the Australian National University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (1995) from the University of Sydney, Australia. In addition, she earned a Juris Doctor (Gold Medalist) degree (2003) from the University of Alberta.

After gaining her law degree, Dr. Bubela clerked for the Honourable Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada. Her doctoral research was in the biological sciences, and she taught biology and genetics as a faculty member at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. From 2004-2008, she was an assistant professor at the School of Business, University of Alberta.

Dr. Bubela’s research interests include intellectual property law and policy, health law, biotechnology, genomics, technology transfer, commercialization of biomedical research and science communication. Her current research focuses on intellectual property issues and other legal and ethical issues in health and agricultural biotechnology and biomedical research more broadly.

Current Research Program & Key Publications

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).

    • Bubela T, Li MD, Hafez M, Bieber M, Atkins H. (2012) Is Belief Larger than Fact: Expectations, optimism and reality for translational stem cell research. BMC Medicine10:133 (6 November 2012). Full Text
    • Bubela T, Morin JF (2010) Lost in Translation: The Canadian Access to Medicines Regime from Transnational Activism to Domestic Implementation. 18 Health Law Journal 113-158.
    • Bubela T, Nisbet MC, et al.(2009) Science Communication Reconsidered: Challenges, Prospects, and Recommendations. 27 Nature Biotechnology 514-518  [Impact Factor: 31.090; cited 16 times]. Full Text
    • Caulfield T, Bubela T (2007) Why a Criminal Ban?: Analyzing the Arguments Against Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer in the Canadian Parliamentary Debate. 7(2) American Journal of Bioethics 51-61 [Impact Factor: 4.378; cited 18 times]. Full Text
    • Bubela T, Caulfield T (2004) Do the Print Media Hype Genetic Research?: A Comparison of Newspaper Stories and Peer Reviewed Research Papers. 170(9) Canadian Medical Association Journal 1399-1407 [Impact Factor: 9.015; cited 73 times]. Full Text

Impacts of commercialisation/open science and intellectual property policies on scientific culture as well as knowledge and technology flows in health biotechnology. We have developed a range of novel bibliometric and scientometric methods to address policy questions. We use these in combination with more traditional methods such as survey instruments, key informant interviews, social network analysis, and statistical modelling.

      • Bubela T, Gold ER, Graff GD, Cahoy DR, Nicol D, Castle D. Patent Landscaping for Life Sciences Innovation: Toward Consistent and Transparent Practices. Nature Biotechnology (under review, 2013).
      • Bubela T, FitzGerald GA, Gold ER (2012) Recalibrating Intellectual Property Rights to Enhance Translational Research Collaborations. 4 Science Translational Medicine122cm3 [Impact Factor: 7.80 note that this is a new journal with statistics only from 2009. It is a AAAS journal and sister journal to Science] Full Text
      • Bubela T, Hagen G, Einsiedel E (2012) Synthetic biology confronts publics and policy makers: challenges for communication, regulation and commercialization. 30 (3) Trends in Biotechnology 132-137 [Impact Factor: 9.644]. Full Text
      • Bubela T, Caulfield T (2010) Role and Reality: Technology Transfer at Canadian Universities. 28 Trends in Biotechnology 447-451[Impact Factor: 9.644; cited 2 times]. Full Text
      • Bubela T, Strotmann A, Noble R, Morrison S (2010) Commercialization and Collaboration: Competing Policies in Publicly-Funded Stem Cell Research? 7 Cell Stem Cell 21-30 [Impact Factor: 26.967; cited 3 times]. Full Text

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

    • Bubela T, Schofield PN, Ryan C, Adams R, Einhorn D. (2012) Managing Intellectual Property to Promote Pre-Competitive Research: The Mouse as a Model for Constructing a Robust Research Commons. Journal of Law, Information and Science. Full Text
    • Schofield PN, Bubela T, Weaver T, Brown SD, Hancock JM, Einhorn D, Tocchini-Valentini G, de Angelis MH, Rosenthal, N. (2009) Post-publication sharing of data and tools. 461 Nature 171-173 [Impact Factor: 36.104; cited 35 times]. Full Text
    • Bubela T, Gold ER (eds) Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge: Case Studies and Conflicting Interests. (Williston, VT: Edward Elgar, 2012). Abstract

Research Grants

Research Grants Applied For

Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Title:                        An Intellectual Property Index: Creating a firm foundation for transdisciplinary study, policy-making and business strategy
Role:                        Co-Applicant (PI: E. Richard Gold)
Amount:                139,980 $


Research Grants Held Currently

Source: Alberta Innovates Health Solutions – CRIO Team Grant
Title:                        Alberta Ocular Gene Therapy Team
Role:                        Co-Lead (Collaborative Lead: Ian MacDonald
Amount:                5,000,000 $

Source: Source: Alberta Innovates Health Solutions – CRIO Team Grant
Title:                        Innovative Transplant Therapies in type 1 diabetes (I3TD1)
Role:                        Collaborative Member (Collaborative Lead: James Shapiro)
Amount:                5,000,000 $

Source: Genome Canada 2012 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition
Title:                        PACEOMICS: Personalized, Accessible, Cost-Effective applications of ‘Omics technologies
Role:                        Co-Project Leader (Project Leader: Christopher McCabe)
Amount                 4,502,080 $

Source:                   CIHR: Emerging Team Grant, Rare Diseases
Title:                        Choroideremia: expanding our understanding, exploring treatments
Role:                        Co-Investigator (PI: Ian MacDonald)
Amount                 930,305 $

Source:                   Foundation Fighting Blindness
Title:                        Choroideremia: expanding our understanding, exploring treatments
Role:                        Co-Investigator (PI: Ian MacDonald)
Amount                 300,000 $

Source:                   Choroideremia Research Foundation, Canada
Title:                        Choroideremia: expanding our understanding, exploring treatments
Role:                        Co-Investigator (PI: Ian MacDonald)
Amount                 125,000 $

Source:                   CIHR Operating Grant: Knowledge to Action
Title:                        Putting research to work: Understanding and improving knowledge translation in population health
Role:                        Co-Applicant (PI: Maria Mayan)
Amount                 200 000 $

Source:                   Strategic Core Grant: Public Policy & ELSI Research in the Stem Cell Field
Title:                        Enhancing Translational Stem Cell Research: Innovative Models for Multi-Sectoral Collaboration.
Role:                        Principal Investigator
Amount                 350 000 $

Source                    Ontario Genomics Institute/Genome Canada
Title                          NorCOMM2 – In vivo models for human disease & drug discovery
Role                          Co-Applicant – GE3LS (PIs: Colin McKerlie and Steve Brown)
Amount                 5 242 298 $ with GE3LS component of 194 970 $

Source                    Ontario Genomics Institute/Genome Canada
Title                          International Barcode of Life Project
Role                          Co-Investigator (Project Leader: Paul Hebert with David Castle as GE3LS Project Leader)
Amount                 25,208,220 $ with 292,956 $ of total GE3LS component of 999,259 $

Source:                   Genome Canada/Genome Alberta
Title:                        Biosystems for the Production of High-Value Plant Metabolites
Role:                        Co-Investigator (Project Leaders: Peter Facchini and Vincent Martin)
Amount:                13 471 000 $ with GE3LS component of 647 819.04 $ (with Edna Einsiedel and Greg Hagen, University of Calgary)

Research Grants Held in Past Five Years

Source:                   CIHR (Operating Grant: Health Systems, Ethics and Knowledge Translation Research on the Implications of H1N1
Title:      H1N1 Knowledge Translation for Pregnant Women and Seniors
Role:                        Co-Principal Applicant (Cynthia Jardine – Nominated Principal App)
Amount:                99,989$

Source:                   The Stem Cell Network Strategic Core Grant
Title:                        Assessing health system barriers to the commercialization and utilization
of stem cell therapies in Canada
Role:                        Principal Investigator
Amount                 150 000 $

Source:                   CIHR (Meeting, Planning and Development Grant)
Title:                        Assessing Canadian Knowledge Translation Approaches: Towards a Report Card on Research-to-Action in Global Health Research.
Role:                        Principal Applicant on behalf of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research
Amount                 15,000$

Source:                   Stem Cell Network –Catalyst Grant
Title:                        Designing Metrics for Impacts and Social Benefits of the Stem Cell Network
Role:                        Principal Investigator
Amount:                50,000 $

Source                    Genome Prairie/Genome Canada
Title                          Development of an Embryonic Stem Cell Library of Defined Mutations NorCOMM Project:
Role                          Co-Applicant (PIs: Geoffrey Hicks and Janet Rossant)
Principal Investigator of GELS Component (with co-principal investigator, Edna Einsiedel, University of Calgary)
Amount                 17 687 390 $ with GE3LS component of 230 761 $


Research Grants Held in Past 10 Years

Source                    Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Facing Our Future
Title                          Impacts of Private Sector Representations of Genomics on Media: Coverage, Public Perceptions and Health Policy
Role                          Principal Investigator (Co-investigators:  Tina Piper and Jennifer Argo)
Amount                 61 021 $

Source                    Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Ethics Operating
Title                           Intellectual property governance and non-state actors: The case of bill C-9
Role                          Co-investigator (PI: E. Richard Gold)
Amount                 175 042 $

Source                    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council/New Economy
Title                          Legal models of biotechnological intellectual property protection: A transdisciplinary approach
Role                          Co-investigator (PI: E. Richard Gold)
Amount                 2 989 500 $

Source                    International Polar Year Data Management Committee: DIAND/INA
Title                          Review of law, practices and principles for data management and traditional knowledge in Northern Canada.
Role                          Principal Investigator
Amount                 $3,360


GE3LS stands for Genomics, Ethics, Economics, Environment, Law and Society and comprises the social science and humanities research component of large-scale Genomics projects funded by Genome Canada. In the United States, this research is known as ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Societal Impacts).