Research Areas

We carry out research on the reciprocal influence between technological and societal transformation – in particular digitalization, miniaturization and personalization – as well as corresponding legal and ethical norm sets. Thus, our research addresses tensions between the promotion of innovation, safety, (informational) self-determination, and justice. Our research area can be further divided into five main areas:

In this research area we focus on fundamental questions in Life Sciences that are connected to legal ethics and to the sociology of law. It is our aim to develop a general theory of transformative technologies that describes the interaction between technical and legal innovations. Exemplary fields of applications are technologies such as CRISPR, robotics, and digitalization in general. Moreover, this research area also includes the philosophy of law regarding technology, research on the impact on modern biotechnology and biotechnological potential applications, on individual autonomy as well as on social inequality and discrimination. Finally, we also carry out research in the field of cyborg medicine and the legal challenges that arise when dealing with technical implants or socio-technical systems.

This research area focuses on selected issues in the field of biomedical law, which we will look at from the perspective of private, public and especially criminal law. One of our key research areas is genome editing, encompassing both, the effects on patent and plant variety protection as well as labeling obligations. Moreover, we do research on issues regarding fundamental ethical questions of genome medicine. Other important research topics are reproductive medicine, transplantation medicine and euthanasia. Legal questions from the field of synthetic biology also belong to this research area.

Research projects in this area are:
Reproductive Medicine (ongoing)
Euthanasia for Cyborgs (ongoing)

In this research area we examine the need for and the ideal design of a regulatory framework for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the life sciences. In the context of AI-assisted diagnostics and therapeutics for example, the question is, whether and how the existing regulatory framework ought to be adapted. Similar questions arise in connection with the regulation of medical apps.

Research projects in this area are:
Protection against Adversarial Attacks (ongoing)

 

In this research area one of the most important questions is, who either legally or de facto “owns” data that are generated in the life sciences. Among other topics, we do research on how the law attributes data to natural persons or legal entities and what kind of preconditions it attaches to the handling of the data. This research area also looks into issues related to data access, data portability and the exercise of market power based on data. These issues can be examined in areas such as mobile and personalized medicine, federated learning in drug research and the use of personal information management systems (PIMS) in the life sciences.

Research projects in this area are:
AgeBots - Service Robots in Elderly Care (ongoing)
Federated Machine Learning (ongoing)

This research area focuses on the interaction between technological innovations and intellectual property protection in the life sciences: Technological innovations, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) can give rise to both new needs for protection and constellations of dysfunctional overprotection. These transformations also highlight the constantly changing circumstances in which “inventions” and “creations” are made.

Research projects in this area are:
Automated Drug Design (ongoing)

Research Projects

Within the different research areas, the ZLSR pursues specific research projects. These research projects are either sponsored by the university or by third-party funds. In the course of these research projects, the ZLSR holds workshops or other scientific and public events. The results are published in scientific articles, expert opinions or statements or presented in events to make them available not only to experts but also to the public.

The ZLSR pursues the following research projects:

Reproductive Medicine (ongoing)
Euthanasia for Cyborgs (ongoing)
Federated Machine Learning (ongoing)
Automated Drug Design (ongoing)
Protection against Adversarial Attacks (ongoing)
Age Bots - Service Robotics in the Care of the Elderly (ongoing)