Tania Simoncelli

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Tania Simoncelli is Assistant Director for Forensic Sciences within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.[1] From 2010-2013, she worked in the Food and Drug Administration Office of the Commissioner.[2] From 2003-2010, Simoncelli worked as the Science Advisor to the American Civil Liberties Union, where she advised the organization on emerging developments in science and technology that pose challenges for civil liberties.

In December 2013, Simoncelli was named by the journal Nature as one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her work in spearheading the development of ACLU’s successful legal challenge to the patenting of human genes.[3]

Simoncelli has spoken, written, and advised on a number of contemporary science policy issues, including personalized medicine,[4] gene patenting,[5][6][7] forensic DNA data banks,[8][9] pesticide testing in humans,[10] and academic freedom.[11] She is co-author with Sheldon Krimsky of Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties (Columbia University Press: 2010).

Simoncelli received her B.A. from Cornell University in 1993, majoring in Biology and Society, and her M.S. degree from University of California, Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group.


  1. ^ The White House, OSTP Leadership and Staff
  2. ^ The White House Blog
  3. ^ "Ten people who mattered this year.", Nature website, published 18 December 2013.
  4. ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Paving the Way for Personalized Medicine: FDA’s Role in a New Era of Medical Product Development, October 2013 (Prepared by T. Simoncelli).
  5. ^ Park, S. and Simoncelli, T., “Making the Case Against Gene Patents,” The SciTech Lawyer, Fall 2012 (Vol. 9, No. 2)
  6. ^ Andrew Ma, HLS Panel Discusses Gene Patents, The Harvard Crimson, September 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Alvin Powell, “Genes Without Patents,” The Harvard Gazette, November 14, 2013.
  8. ^ Simoncelli, T. and S. Krimsky, “A New Era of DNA Collections: At What Cost to Civil Liberties?” American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, August 2007.
  9. ^ Simoncelli, T., “Dangerous Excursions: The Case Against Expanding Forensic DNA Databases to Innocent Persons,” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer) 2006, pp. 390-397.
  10. ^ Krimsky, S. and T. Simoncelli, “Testing Pesticides in Humans: Of Mice and Men Divided by Ten,” JAMA, Vol. 297, No. 21 (June 6) 2007: pp. 2405-2407.
  11. ^ Simoncelli, Tania, and Jay Stanley. Science Under Siege: The Bush Administration's Assault on Academic Freedom and Scientific Inquiry. New York, NY: American Civil Liberties Union, 2005.