Dr. Ma'n H. Zawati

Academic title(s): 

Associate Member, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine
Associate Member, Biomedical Ethics Unit
Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics

Dr. Ma'n H. Zawati
Contact Information

Centre of Genomics and Policy, Department of Human Genetics
McGill University
740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, #5210
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1

(514) 398-4806
Email address: 
man.zawati [at] mcgill.ca
Current research: 

Ma’n H. Zawati (LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D. (DCL)) is an Associate Professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and the Research Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy in the Department of Human Genetics. He is also an Associate Member in the Department of Medicine, the Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy and the Faculty of Law. His work is interdisciplinary, drawing together perspectives from law, ethics, genomics, and policy. His research mainly focuses on the legal, ethical and policy dimensions of health research and clinical care, with a special focus on data sharing, governance, professional liability, and the use of novel technologies (e.g., mhealth apps, WGS, WES). During COVID-19, Prof. Zawati was instrumental in setting up the ethics governance for multiple initiatives, including the Quebec COVID19 Biobank (BQC19), CGEn’s national HostSeq project and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. His work has facilitated access and use of data and samples across jurisdictions.

Prof. Zawati is funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec, CIHR, Genome Quebec and Genome Canada. He’s also a frequent presenter on a variety of the most critical and topical issues in healthcare and the biosciences. He has appeared at 180+ international conferences, symposia, meetings, and has shared his expertise with universities, research ethics boards and law firms. He sits on the Board of Directors of Exactis Innovation and the Human Cell Atlas. Prof. Zawati has published more than 100 book chapters and peer reviewed articles in leading publications such as Nature Reviews Genetics, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. In 2015, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (stay at Oxford University) and was named a Royal Society of Canada Delegate for the IAP Young Scientists of the Year international symposium. In 2021, Prof. Zawati received his J1 FRQS Career Award. In 2022, he published his first book: “Reciprocity in Population Biobanks: Relational Autonomy and the Duty to Inform in the Genomic Era” and in 2023, he was elected Member of McGill University’s Senate.


1. Allogenic dermis to accelerate the production of a tissue-engineered skin substitute to treat Canadian burn patients - Stem Cell Network (2023 - present)

Expanding on tissue engineering techniques established in Dr. Moulin’s lab (Université Laval) this project will continue to look assess the use of Autologous Self-Assembly Skin Substitutes (SASS) to cover greater than 50% of the total body surface area of burn victims. Health Canada had approved this early-stage clinical trial, and this project will serve as a model treatment approach. This trial’s objective is to assess this cutting-edge therapeutic strategy for treating Canadian patients with extensive burns to promote skin regeneration. Preliminary findings have shown that treatment reduces morbidity brought on by current treatments and improves patients’ quality of life, suggesting that treatment should have economic and societal benefits. Dr. Moulin’s lab will be the first in Canada to routinely treat patients with autologous rebuilt skin after the clinical trial and approval by Health Canada. The CGP will help with the preparation of the requirements needed for research ethics coordination and approval (including preparing standardized recruitment procedures and protocols, consent forms and information pamphlets). Documentation for the clinical trial application meetings and for regulatory approval with Health Canada will be prepared by the CGP.

2. Canadian Paediatric Cancer Consortium - Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2022 - present)

The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium (CPCC) is the largest-ever Canadian pediatric cancer research project. It is performing a broad array of distinct research activities, including both clinical data generation, and public policy work in areas such as health economics, law, and other fields. The Centre of Genomics and Policy leads its ethical-legal and data governance work-package, which includes the development of policies and procedures to enable the stewardship of the data that the CPCC generates. The CPCC raises a plethora of public policy challenges that lie at the intersection of pediatric bioethics and data governance. Building on prior research in the PROFYLE project, governance proposals arising from this initiative could serve as a template for future Pan-Canadian efforts to generate and share pediatric oncology data.

3. Explaining the Right to Explanation: Data Protection Legislation and Clinical Automated Decision-Making - Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) (2022 - present)

Quebec’s National Assembly adopted a right to explanation for automated decision-making in late 2021. This is the first such right implemented in Canada, with as yet unknown consequences for the practice of medicine. Automated decision-making tools for the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disease are being applied across the healthcare system, and these newly adopted rights might have significant legal consequences for clinicians. This project will address how statutory rights to explanation for automated decision-making adopted in Quebec and elsewhere are likely to affect the legal obligations of clinicians providing care that is facilitated by automated medical devices. We are conducting a comparative legal analysis to understand the effects of rights to explanation adopted in other jurisdictions, with particular focus on European Union member states. We will also define the potential scope of rights to explanation by surveying automated decision-making tools presently being used in Canada, hold a virtual deliberative exercise with relevant stakeholders (including clinicians and patient representatives), and prepare policy tools outlining how rights to explanation will affect the use of clinical automated decision making.

Selected publications: 


Recent publications:

  • Lara Khoury, Ma'n H. Zawati. "Medical Malpractice." In Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, edited by M. Smits, Jaakko Husa, Catherine Valcke, and Madalena Narciso. (Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2023).
  • Dimitri Patrinos, Michael Lang, and Ma'n H. Zawati. "Genomic Data Sharing: Case Studies, Challenges, and Opportunities for Precision Medicine." In Genomic Data Sharing: Case Studies, Challenges, and Opportunities for Precision Medicine edited by Jennifer B. Mccoormick and Pathak Jyotishman, (Elsevier, 2022).
  • Patrinos, Dimitri, Mohammed Ghaly, Mashael Al-Shafai, Ma'n Zawati. “Legal Approaches to Risk of Harm in Genetic Counseling: Perspectives from Quebec and Qatar.” (2023) 14 Frontiers in Genetics. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2023.1190421.
  • Lang, Michael, Ma'n H. Zawati. "Online Therapeutic Portals for Sharing Health Research: Comparative Guidance amid Regulatory Uncertainty." (2023) 6(2) Canadian Journal of Bioethics, 66-75. DOI doi.org/10.7202/110129ar
  • Granados, Palmira Moreno, Terese Knoppers, Ma'n H. Zawati, Michael Lang, Bartha M. Knoppers, Michael Wolfson, Hermann Nabi, Michel Dorval, Jacques Simard, and Yann Joly. "Cancer Risk Prediction Regulation Models: Canada Contrasted with the U.S. and the E.U."(2023) Hum Gen. DOI doi.org/10.1007/s00439-023-02576-8
  • Rothstein, Mark A., Dimitri Patrinos, Kyle B. Brothers, Ellen Wright Clayton, Yann Joly, Ma'n H. Zawati, Pamela Andanda, et al. "Concordance of International Regulation of Pediatric Health Research." (2023). The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2023.113524


List of Publications

Research areas: 
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