School of Law, Gender and Media

Dr Hu Yuan Qiong

Key information

School of Law, Gender and Media Post-Doctoral Research Associate Law, Environment and Development Centre Member Tutor, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World
LLB (Shandong University), LLM (Shandong University), LLM (SOAS), MPhil (University of Oslo), PhD (SOAS)
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Thesis title
Rethinking Patent Centric Biomedical Innovation: Towards an Alternative Conceptual Framework Building.


Hu Yuanqiong is a lawyer and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Law, SOAS. Yuan works as Senior Legal and Policy Advisor for the Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors without Borders) with a focus on access to medicines and intellectual property, providing legal advice related to multiple jurisdictions including India, South Africa, China, Brazil, US, South Korea and the European Patent Office. She worked as Teaching Fellow in intellectual property law at Durham University, and completed her PhD in Law at SOAS on “Rethinking Patent Centric Biomedical Innovation: Towards an Alternative Conceptual Framework Building” in 2018.

Yuan’s current research focuses on reconceptualising biomedical innovation, with a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the intersections and co-production of law, society, science and technologies. She interrogates the role of expertise and professions in norm making and aims to explore the alternative conceptual framework for biomedical innovation in contrast to the patent centric paradigm. She is also interested in and has research experiences in international human rights law, public international law and international environmental law.

Yuan has published several articles on the topic of intellectual property and access to medicines, including a co-authored article of ‘Medical Patents and the Right to Health – From Monopoly Control to Open Access Innovation and Provision of Medicines’ published on the German Yearbook of International Law, Vol 61 (2019), and "Resistance and Consistent: Access to Medicines and Patent Law Reforms in India and China", No.3 (2016) SOAS Law Working Paper Series. She also presented several conference papers based on her research, including the recent papers of ‘Communities, Properties and Biomedical Knowledge through International Human Rights Lens’ presented at  the Conference of ‘Protecting Community Interests under International Law: Challenges and Prospects for the 21st Century’ at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo in June 2019, ‘Realignment of Innovators: Patents, Norms and Social-Technical Creativities in Biomedicine’ and ‘The Role of Legal Profession and Expertise in Patent and Biomedical Innovation Discourse’ presented at the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference in April 2019, University of Leeds.

Previously, Yuan also conducted consultancies for Asia and Pacific Regional Office of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), MSF and Third World Network on patent and access to medicines, and for Save the Children UK on post-2015 development policies.

Research interests

  • International law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Intellectual property and innovation policies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Environmental law
  • International political economy
  • Human rights