Dr. Sheetal Soni is the Deputy Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning in Pietermaritzburg, and a Senior Lecturer in the field of Bioethics, International Law and Intellectual Property Law. She holds LLB, LLM and PhD degrees and is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. Her research interests are biotechnology law and the ethics of reproduction. She has done consultancy work for the HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG), the AIDS and Rights Alliance of South Africa (ARASA), and the National Department of Health. She is also a collaborator on projects with Next BioSciences and on the South African site of the Sustainable & Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) project. She was a contributor to the Clinical Guidelines for the Provision of Genetic Services (NDoH), and serves on expert panels of the Network of African Academies of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of South Africa, which is undertaking a study of the ethical, legal and social implications of gene therapy.
She is a member of the South African Society of Human Genetics; the International Association of Bioethics, African Bioethics Network and the Human Cell Atlas and serves on the Board of the Association for Responsible Research in Genome Editing (ARRIGE). She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the AI and Genomic Futures project, a collaboration between the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. She was an invited speaker at the Science at the U.S-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022, and has been interviewed by the media on legal and ethical issues related to her research.