Your browser does not support JavaScript

Shelly Simana

S.J.D. Candidate

LL.M. Advisor

ssimana at




The “CRISPR Revolution”: The Ethics and Law of Gene Editing

CRISPR-Cas9 allows humans to transform their biological conditions in a fast and cheap way. Despite its far-reaching consequences, little research has been conducted on the legal rules governing CRISPR. The proposed research asks the following questions: Should the use of CRISPR be legally permitted? If so, what principles should guide its use and what safeguards should be employed? The research has two levels of analysis: (1) a societal level, in which key regulatory challenges related to classifications, institutions, and inequality are addressed; and (2) an individual level, in which questions associated with procreative liberty, parental liability, and obligations to future generations are discussed.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Bioethics, Health Law, and Reproductive Rights with Professor Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Technology, Society, and Institutional Design with Professor Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School
  • Theories of Justice and Well-Being with Professor Nir Eyal, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Additional Research Interests

  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Law and Technology
  • Family Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2018-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2016-2017
  • The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, LL.B. and B.A. in Government 2009–2013

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Kennedy School, 2019–Present, Research Associate, Program on Science, Technology and Society
  • Harvard Law School, 2019–Present, Graduate Program Fellow, Affiliate, The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics
  • Harvard Law School, 2018–Present, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
  • Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 2018–2019, Teaching Fellow
  • The National Institutes of Health, Department of Bioethics, 2017–2018, Visiting Scholar
  • Harvard Law School, 2017–2018, Visiting Researcher
  • Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, 2017–2018, Teaching Assistant
  • Harvard Law School, 2016–2017, Summer Academic Fellowship

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • 2019–Present, Contributor at the Petrie-Flom Center Blog “Bill of Health.”
  • Languages: English, Hebrew, French, Arabic
  • LinkedIn Profile

Last Updated: October 7, 2019