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Members SSGH

Centre for Social Science and Global Health
Professors
  • Amade M’charek

    Amade M’charek is Professor of Anthropology of Science at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, where she acts as the director of the research group Health, Care and the Body. M’charek is PI of the RaceFaceID project (https://race-face-id.eu/), an ERC-consolidator project on forensic identification and the making of face and race, and co-PI of the NWA project Pressing Matter: Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums (https://pressingmatter.nl/). Her work has centred on the ir/relevance of race in science and society focusing on genetics and forensic practice, exploring issues of post-coloniality, temporality and identity. Through her recent research on migrant death, she has developed an interest in forensic methods for studying (post)colonial relations, circulations and extractions, which has translated in her current interdisciplinary project, Vital Elements and Postcolonial Moves: Forensics as the Art of Paying Attention in a Mediterranean Harbour Town for which she was awarded an ERC advanced grant.  

    Prof. dr. A.A. (Amade) M'charek

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Anita Hardon

    Trained as a medical anthropologist and biologist, Prof. Anita Hardon has been engaged in ambitious multi-level, multi-sited, and often interdisciplinary studies on immunization, new reproductive technologies, HIV medicines, and illicit and licit chemicals that have generated important ethnographic insights on the appropriation of these technologies in diverse social-cultural settings, their efficacy in everyday life, the role of social movements in their design, and the dynamics of care and policy-making in their provision. She makes communicating research findings to patient advocates, policy-makers, and public health researchers and practitioners a priority.

    Anita Hardon is currently the chair of the Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation group at Wageningen University. She also holds the position of chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities at NWO (Dutch Research Council) and an executive board member of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD). She was a full professor of Anthropology in the faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences and director of the research priority area Global Health at the University of Amsterdam and the former scientific director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR).

    In addition to these roles, she is regularly sought after as a Ph.D. supervisor, a guest lecturer, a keynote presenter, and an advisor. Anita has had visiting professorships from universities around the world and numerous prestigious awards recognizing her invaluable contribution to the field of healthcare, global health, and sexual and reproductive health.

    She now works at the UvA one day a week.

    Prof. dr. A.P. (Anita) Hardon

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Annemarie Mol

    Annemarie Mol is professor of Anthropology of the Body. In her work she combines the ethnographic study of practices with the task of shifting our theoretical repertoires. Her most important research lines to date:

    The words – language as practice

    Saying 'lekker' (in Dutch) is not quite the same as saying 'tasty' or 'delicious' (in English) and both these terms differ from 'nice'. A lot may be learned from attending in detail to words, their contexts and their effects. 

    The object – multiplicity

    Objects of knowledge may be understood as focal points of different perspectives. But it is also possible to trace how they are being handled (sliced, questioned, coloured, cooked up) in varied knowledge practices. If we do the latter, then it appears that objects-in-practice (say 'anaemia', 'atherosclerosis', or 'body') tend to come in many versions. These versions are both different and interdependent: multiple.

    The process – care

    Decision trees suggest linear ways of working where one thing follows from and after the other. However, in many practices, care practices included, time is not an arrow and entities are not brought into being just once, but keep on changing. Rather than fitting fantasies of control, such processes depend on endless tinkering. Such tinkering, if done well, is care.

    The site – topologies

    Everything happens somewhere. And then things travel between places. But in which kind of space to situate events, techniques and objects? There are various topological figures to consider, such as regions, networks, fluids and fires. They each order and allow for travel, boundaries, similarity and difference - differently.

    The engagement – eating

    What happens if we take 'eating' as a model of what it is to know, to act and/or to relate? Answering this question requires answers to another question: what is it to eat? What, in practice, are tasting, digesting, wasting, thriving, appreciating? What kind of relations between organisms does 'eating' craft and encourage? What is 'an eating body' and where does it begin and end? How does 'eating' enduringly change the world?

    The norms – clean

    Norms may be defended with arguments or used to critique – but it is also possible to study how norms (appraisals as good or bad) are being done in practices. This we study using different cases that all pertain to valuing things (situations, places, water, etc.) as clean or unclean – by measuring, judging, appreciating – or through cleaning up or preventing messiness – or otherwise. What is there to learn about qualification, valuing, norming, differentiating? 

    Prof. dr. A. (Annemarie) Mol

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Arnoud Verhoeff

    Arnoud Verhoeff works at the Public Health Service Amsterdam, the Netherlands, presently as director of Sarphati Amsterdam, an Amsterdam based research institute focusing on the prevention of non-communicable diseases. His core research has and continues to focus on health, health care and demand in urban populations.

    He was previously the head of the department of Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Care Innovation within the Public Health Service for more than 20 years. In 1994 he received his PhD at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. After his PhD he spent one year as a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, United States of America. Since 2006 he has also been appointed as professor of Urban Health and Health Care at the Department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

    Prof. dr. A.P. (Arnoud) Verhoeff

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Political Sociology: Power, Place and Difference

  • Eileen Moyer

    Eileen Moyer is currently a Professor in the Anthropology of Ecology, Health and Climate Change, Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Her current work is preceded by more than twenty years of research on HIV/AIDS. While Moyer continues to supervise research and publish on HIV, gender and sexual health, she now also runs a research programme examining the relationship between health, environment and inequalities in Africa and Europe. She is currently directing an NWO-funded project on the water, energy and food nexus South African cities and co-leads a consortium investigating the lifecycle of plastics in relation to health and climate change mitigation.

    Since the culmination of her PhD (UvA) in 2003, she has received funding from multiple international sources to examine the myriad of ways that HIV/AIDS is entangled in human social relations in urban Africa. She is considered a leading international social science researcher in the field of HIV and sexual health and community engagement; most of her applied research has focused on improving HIV or sexual and reproductive health interventions in the global south. With more than 80 publications to her name, she has been published in anthropological, medical, public health, health policy, urban and media studies journals. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of the open-access journal Medicine Anthropology Theory.

    In October 2008, Moyer was appointed Assistant Professor of medical and urban anthropology at the UvA and since then has worked with prominent Dutch NGOs (AIDSfonds, Rutgers, HIVOS). She was granted tenure in October 2012 and promoted to the position of Associate Professor in 2016. In 2019 she was promoted to Full Professor. At AIGHD, Eileen Moyer is developing a focus area in Ecology, Health and Environment, while overseeing the social science arm of an applied health project focusing on improving access to HIV treatment in Tanzania.

    Prof. dr. E.M. (Eileen) Moyer

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Dep. Anthropology

  • Ria Reis

    Though Ria Reis began her career as a cultural anthropologist specializing in Tibetan Buddhism, her doctoral research took her to Africa and medical anthropology. Most of her work articulates anthropological research within multidisciplinary health research and interventions, particularly in collaborative projects with partners in policy and practice. Over the past two decades, her research has shifted from epilepsy and disability studies to young people’s health perceptions and strategies and the transgenerational transmission of vulnerabilities and resilience in contexts of inequality. She has a particular interest in youth mental health and cultural idioms of distress as expressions of communal social suffering in regions affected by epidemics, disasters, conflicts, and violence.

    Currently, she leads the implementation research component in EAP0C-V that studies the feasibility and acceptability of point of care HIV viral load monitoring for children and adolescents in East Africa. She also leads AIGHD work in WHO-PEN@Scale on syndemic processes and the implementation of the WHO’s package of essential NCD interventions for primary health care in Eswatini. In South Africa, she is an Honorary Professor at the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town (UCT). In 2021 she retired from her position as Professor of Medical Anthropology at Leiden University Medical Center, the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (LUMC/PHEG), where she contributed to the development of syndemic research and education agenda, and the strengthening of qualitative approaches in clinical and population health research.

    As Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Anthropology, she was PI of the social science component of the MaxART Universal Test and Treat Implementation study program and of two consecutive projects in Burundi, on the intergenerational transmission of violence and the effectiveness of sexuality education respectively. She is a Fellow at the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) community.

Assistant Professors
  • Branwyn Poleykett

    Branwyn Poleykett has recently joined the SSGH team. She is an Assistant Professor in the Health, Care & the Body group. She specializes in the study of public, global, and planetary health and has conducted the majority of her research in the West African city of Dakar, in Senegal.

    Her PhD (LSE, 2012) examined the regulation of commercial sexual intimacies in Dakar. Following her Ph.D., she held postdoctoral positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Cambridge, the Rachel Carson Centre at LMU Munich, and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. Branwyn has published on the Africanisation of global health research and the role of transnational pedagogy and capacity building in perpetuating epistemic inequality. She has a particular interest in health communication and visual methods in global health research and she is currently finalizing her monograph Lines of Sight: Decolonisation, Development and the Image World of Senegalese Hygiene.

    Since 2018, Branwyn has conducted ethnographic research in Dakar households to better understand and trace the complex connections between food insecurity and the emergence of chronic diseases in the city. Drawing on perspectives from medical anthropology, social epidemiology, and political ecology, and rooted in collaborations with public health, agronomy, and clinical nutrition, her work has examined how precarious suburban households manage multiple nutrition challenges: undernutrition, stunting, wasting, hidden hunger, deficiencies, overweight and NCDs. Now, her work increasingly examines the stakes of sustainable food production and consumption in the West African Sahel, with a particular focus on the Senegalese Niayes.

    Dr. B. (Branwyn) Poleykett

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Bregje De Kok

    Dr. Bregje De Kok’s research centres on care, communication, normativity and morality in the area of reproductive and maternal health. Through ethnography, discourse and conversation analysis, she seeks to illuminate care as practice and differing notions of ‘good’ care, and how policies, interventions and care play out on the ground. Bregje mobilizes medical anthropology and other social sciences to contribute to improvement of care and health systems, and develop policies and interventions tailored to situated concerns and realities. She currently works on interdisciplinary projects on Respectful Maternity Care in Malawi, and risk communication and shared-decision making in maternity care in Ghana.

    She received her PhD and MSc in psychology from the University of Edinburgh following her MA in psychology from the Radbound University Nijmegen. She has taught as a lecturer at the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University, and has previously worked  as a postdoctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh on an interdisciplinary ESRC-MRC fellowship as a researcher in Nursing studies at the University of Edinburgh.

    Dr. B.C. (Bregje) de Kok

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Christian Bröer

    Christian Bröer is an associate professor of sociology at the UvA. In this role, he leads a number of research projects and educational teams. His central scientific concern is with the political origins of subjectivity in the area of health. Particularly, he wants to find out how the experience of a problem and political processes interact in cases like bodily (over)activity, sadness, (over)weight, dental health, mobile phone technology or aircraft noise. Conceptually, he aims to further develop medicalization theory, bringing together. Methodologically, he tries to advance qualitative methods through systematizing collaborative longitudinal approaches and through novel ways of online collaboration. 

    In Sarphati Amsterdam, he has set up and is leading a longitudinal ethnographic panel study on everyday practices like on eating, drinking, physical activity and sleeping and how these are interrelated through time. Practices are taken to mediate between structural inequality and health outcomes. This ethnographic panel is also part of the UvA research priority area Personal Microbiome Health and part of the NWO funded consortium METAHEALTH, both focusing on the interplay between social, personal, and biological processes involved in metabolic health. In CO-CREATE, he leads the work package in which he and his team investigate under which conditions system direct policy for overweight prevention can be co-created with young people. Bröer is member of the research priority area Urban Mental Health. Lastly, he is co-founder and shareholder of PANEL, a software for open online qualitative research.  

    Dr. C. (Christian) Bröer

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Political Sociology: Power, Place and Difference

  • Else Vogel

    Dr. Else Vogel has recently joined the SSGH team. She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body at the University of Amsterdam (UvA); the co-editor of The Imposter as Social Theory – Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats, and Charlatans (Bristol University Press); and serves on the editorial board of the anthropological journal Etnofoor.

    Her current research explores how values come together and are negotiated in a world caught between the growing demand for meat, pressing ecological challenges, and rising concerns for animal welfare. Developing the emerging fields of environmental anthropology and ‘multi-species ethnography’, she theorizes how different human-animal relations are navigated in practice by those involved in food production. Supported by a Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council, her ethnographic research explores how farm animal care involves negotiation between various notions of ‘the good – animal welfare, financial interests, public health, and sustainability. Her key focus is on how veterinarians – professionals who crucially shape contemporary human-animal relationships – negotiate diverse concerns and contribute to changes in the livestock sector.

    For her doctorate, she examined care practices targeting obesity as part of the ERC project ‘The Eating Body in Western practice and theory’ led by Annemarie Mol. While dominant approaches to obesity emphasize self-control and bodily discipline, Dr. Vogel articulated alternatives that encourage other mind-body relations. This work has led to a new theoretical perspective through which biomedical norms and standards (e.g. on healthy eating) may be critically evaluated for their broad practical effects. She has continued to study self-care practices throughout her postdoc at the Values group in Linkoping University, led by Steve Woolgar, and has focused her work on Dutch rehabilitation centers targeting chronic pain and fatigue.

    Dr E. (Else) Vogel

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Kristine Krause

    Kristine Krause is an anthropologist working at the intersections of political and medical anthropology, interested in subjectivities and health, citizenship and care. At the University of Amsterdam she is a member of the Health, Care and the Body and the Long-term Care and Dementia Research Group. Together with Jeannette Pols she runs the Anthropology of Care Network.

    In 2021, Kristine Krause began her new research project, titled ERC Project Relocare: Relocating Care within Europe: Moving the elderly to places where care is more affordable. Her research grant will last until 2016 and her team consists of Mariusz Sapieha, Matous Jelinek, Veronika Prieler and Arianna Injeian. The ethics advisors on the project are Jeannette Pols and Annelieke Driessen, and Silke Hoppe is the Team Coach.

    Within care studies, the transnationalisation of care has been mainly understood as drawing on (female) migrant care workers and resulting in a ‘care gap’ in the places such workers leave behind. This project looks at the reverse phenomenon: care relocation, in which the ageing body is relocated to places where care is more affordable. This hotly contested trend, described as ‘grandmother deportation’ or ‘geriatric colonialism’, can be seen as an extreme example of the marketization of care, and entangling welfare states as entitlements are carried across national borders within Europe.

    This multi-sited anthropological study will take as case studies care homes in Central Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary) that recruit patients from Austria and Germany, and offer care at roughly one-third of the cost of similar institutions in the home countries. What does care relocation do to the people and places involved? Most of these care homes are located in regions characterised by a long German and Habsburg-Hungarian history, adding historical complexity to the story. Some serve only German-speaking patients, others serve local, wealthier elderly people as well. They are run by former migrant care workers and by international companies, bringing labour migration and real estate investment into the picture.

    ReloCare breaks new ground by encompassing all of these aspects in one study. Alongside in-depth ethnographic studies of daily life in these care homes, the researchers will investigate the nexus of care entrepreneurs and state insurances, and the histories of places and regional migration, providing an understanding of these new transnational entanglements of welfare states. In perceiving care relocation as both part of future making and a response to the privatization of care landscapes in the region, it asks what it means to become old and in need of care in an increasingly intertwined Europe.

    In her previous research, Kristine looked at transnational therapeutic networks, travelling spirits, circulating medicines and how both are related to spaces of care in the context of migration from Ghana to Europe. Another angle of her work looks at how therapeutic and care encounters provide interfaces of incorporation and articulations of political subjectivity.

    Previously she worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, coordinating a working group on medical diversity, and as a research fellow at the Humboldt University Berlin in a German Research Foundation funded project on transnational networks, religion and new migration.

    Her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford with COMPAS (Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society) was based on long-term fieldwork with migrants from Ghana in London, focusing on how legal status and transnational networks play out in what people do when they are sick. Based on this research she developed a strong interest in how health is linked to political subjectivities and dealt with across national boundaries.

    Dr K. (Kristine) Krause

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Danny de Vries

    Danny de Vries holds 20 years of experience in applied research, focusing on topic areas such as emergency preparedness for natural disasters (flood mitigation) and infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, Lyme Disease/ Tick-borne encephalitis, and norovirus). Danny currently sits on the board of Sharenet International, a knowledge platform for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and is the current Head of the Medical Anthropology and Sociology MSc at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a key member of the AIGHD team. He currently co-leads on capacity building work package for AIGHD’s Horizon 2020-funded program, Global Social Sciences Network for Infectious Threats and Antimicrobial Resistance (SONAR-Global), and is the principal investigator for AIGHD led PrEPArE Consortium (Public Health Emergency Preparedness Assessments for Europe) funded by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

    Before this, he spent five years as a monitoring and evaluating professional for large global health projects, such as USAID’s funded human resources for health strengthening (The Capacity Project), and human health rights (Bridging the Gaps, Aids Fonds).  As a postdoctoral researcher, he participated in a 5-year NWO-funded project in the District of Luwero, which studied how indigenous roles and networks self-organize health services and care. As a result of this, he has continued to study community health resources and engagement, through projects with for example the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) emergency preparedness section and the Malaria Zero consortium in Haiti.

    Dr. D.H. (Danny) de Vries

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Linda Musariri

    Linda Musariri is an interdisciplinary scientific researcher whose research broadly focuses on migration, gender, violence, climate change, and the role of development interventions in shaping these worlds in South Africa. Having completed her PhD in Anthropology at the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam (UvA), she is now a post-doctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits, South Africa, supporting the ARUA African Academy for Migration Research (AAMR). Alongside this, she is a Junior Fellow at AGIHD in the Social Science and Global Health Research Priority Area and also teaches at the Vrije University Amsterdam (VU) in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology.

    Since 2010 she has been working as a researcher and project manager in the NGO sector in South Africa, focusing mainly on gender equality issues. For example, she worked in a research and advocacy role at Gender Links, a Southern African organization committed to a region in which women and men can participate equally in all aspects of public and private life by the provisions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development. Here, she contributed to the (SADC) Protocol Alliance Barometer, an annual publication that has been tracking the progress of all SADC countries in achieving the targets of the SADC Gender Protocol. Linda also possesses a Master’s Degree in Demography and Population Studies from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (Wits).

  • Marjolein Gysels

    Marjolein Gysels is an anthropologist with 30 years of research experience in interdisciplinary and international contexts. Her diverse background spans health care research, social science and the arts and humanities, with the notion of care (in the broadest sense) running through her work as the common thread. This cross-disciplinary orientation, paired with the specific research interests and expertise that fall in between established disciplines, makes her work simultaneously unique and widely relevant to a wide range of issues.

    Currently her work focuses on the value and relevance of the arts in society, both socially and aesthetically. She is specifically interested in the developments in the participatory arts and the new hybrid relations these bring about between the arts, science and society. This work is highly collaborative and practice-oriented which she approaches ethnographically, through which she is able to gain insight into the artistic research process. Her work considers its methodology, ethics and the collaborative process itself.

    During the last five years, she has led and conducted numerous projects working together with artists -as well as many other stakeholders - on pressing societal challenges such as ageing, dementia, and matters of diversity and inclusion with both younger and older people, in medical and artistic institutions and community contexts. These results are relevant for practice and policy. Theoretically, the insights add to discussions about knowledge and making, the senses, audience participation, amateur arts and the artist’s role, and the shifting ideas regarding heritage.

    Dr. M.H. (Marjolein) Gysels

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

Associate Professors
  • Cristobal Bonelli

    Cristobal Bonelli is an Associate Professor of Anthropology trained at the intersections of social anthropology, clinical psychology and science and technology studies (STS). He is, however, continuously experimenting with, and learning from, different genres and disciplines and is always trying to practice academia in a way that, in his words, makes sense beyond its own (self-referent) boundaries and (self-referent) debates.

    Seeing a continuity between both the environment and human thought, he is continuously investigating how to develop clinical thinking concerned with both of these and finds that a ‘relational mind’ is more capable to take care of surrounding ecologies than an individualistic mindset. He finds this investigation a challenge due to the way he perceives academic settings to be deeply affected by logics of growth and productivity, but he does not give up.

    He currently holds an ERC Starting Grant for the project ‘Worlds of Lithium: A multi-sited and transnational study of transitions towards post-fossil fuel societies’. The project is an anthropological study of the replacement of fossil fuel transport, with a new fleet of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

    According to Bonelli: “A lot of public attention goes to the promise of electric vehicles, meaning less oil will be needed for road transport. What remains hidden, however, are the disruptive transformations of the landscapes and societies through which lithium travels. It is these transformations that the project brings into public view. For I am convinced that through empirical assessment of the side effects of this planetary strategy to respond to global warming, we can avoid implementing climate solutions that end up worsening our current social and environmental problems.”

    Dr. C.R. (Cristobal) Bonelli

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Patrick Brown

    Dr. Patrick Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and manages the research group on Political Sociology, within the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research. He currently chairs the research network on Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (RN22) within the European Sociological Association and since 2018 has been editor of Health, Risk & Society

    His research mainly focusses upon social processes by which individuals, groups and organisations cope with vulnerability and uncertainty - including risk, trust, hope, ritual, and faith for example - and the way these processes shape one another, wider organisational dynamics and the everyday practices of professionals and patients. In researching and conceptualising these phenomena, he has drawn on a range of social and political theory, particularly work by Mary Douglas, Norbert Elias, Jürgen Habermas and Alfred Schütz. 

    He recently finished a book On Vulnerability (Routledge 2021) and is currently working with colleagues at Århus, Leiden and Vienna on the REACTOR project, financed by DFF (Independent Research Fund Denmark). By combining the sociology of authority and knowledge with public opinion research, they are investigating various claims regarding a 'post-truth' world, particularly whether ordinary citizens resist established authorities in professional expertise, politics and media information and whether resistance is linked across domains. They also aim to develop an in-depth understanding of what motivates resistance to or mistrust of knowledge and authorities, as grasped from the citizens' perspectives.

    On a more applied level - he has worked on or coordinated a number of projects funded by, or carried out in cooperation with, organisations such as the Royal College of Physicians, the European Commission, the UK Government (Department of Work and Pensions) and the European Medicines Agency, looking at various aspects of client-experiences, trust and engagement of patients and professionals, and the implications of these for policy-making. 

    Dr. P.R. (Patrick) Brown

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Political Sociology: Power, Place and Difference

  • Rene Gerrets

    Rene Gerrets is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and Senior Fellow at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development. Since obtaining his PhD at New York University (2010), he has received funding from various international sources to examine the relationships between science and the governance of infectious diseases such as malaria in East African settings.  His current research examines in Tanzania how people assess, understand and talk about the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, goods whose quality are highly patrolled in comparison with various consumers goods often deemed ‘fake’ or of poor quality.

    Dr. R.P.M. (René) Gerrets PhD

    Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

Researchers
  • Carolyne Egesa

    Carolyne Egesa is a PhD candidate in Medical Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Research Officer at the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Built upon her interest in the socio-cultural determinants of reproductive health behavior, sexuality, gender, and sexual behavior, her topic focuses on ideas and notions of men and manliness that are being evoked in efforts to prevent gender-based violence in urban slums in Nairobi. Through ethnographic work, her research is centered on the complex nature of masculinity aspirations of poor Nairobi youth, which she shows to be fashioned at the crossroads of structural constraints and agentive projects for a good life, and simultaneously supportive and resistive of traditional hegemonic manliness ideals.

    She also has a key interest in programs and policy debates on the issues that shape health outcomes among men in urban spaces in Sub-Saharan Africa. Of greatest concern are the living conditions in urban informal settlements which are characterized by limited opportunities, deprived livelihoods, poor environmental and health conditions as well as high HIV prevalence. Carolyne has also worked for over ten years as a researcher at the African Population and Health Research Center, a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, which conducts policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization, and related development issues on the continent.

  • Christopher Pell

    Dr. Christopher Pell is a qualitative social scientist with a background in medical anthropology. Collaborating with colleagues from varied disciplines across the world, Dr. Pell’s qualitative research spans diverse health domains and care settings, often seeking to ensure that the perspectives and experiences of users – patients and health staff – are incorporated into the development and implementation of interventions.

    Much of his current research focuses on the social dimensions of infectious disease and critical care interventions. Dr. Pell co-leads the networking component of Sonar Global, a project that aims to establish a global network of social scientists working on infectious disease epidemics and antimicrobial resistance. Within the INDIGO consortium, he supervises a PhD student working on the acceptability of intradermal patches for influenza vaccination in the Netherlands and India. Collaborating with the Bangkok-based Mahidol Oxford Tropical Research Network (MORU), Dr. Pell also supervises PhD research on village malaria workers in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

    He also leads qualitative research on the implementation of novel surveillance techniques for antibiotic resistance in humans and animals in Burkina Faso, Togo and Germany. Within the EDCTP-funded IMPALA project, Dr. Pell leads the social science hub, which focuses on studying the implementation and impact of a predictive monitoring system for critically children in Malawi. He also works in an advisory role for the Wellcome Trust-funded, Critical Care Asia consortium, assisting with research on the drivers of quality of critical care in South and South East Asia and the implementation of an intensive care registry.

    Finally, he is a co-investigator in multi-disciplinary research on the implementation of decentralised care for non-communicable diseases – exploring its acceptability and feasibility in Eswatini.

  • Erica van der Sijpt

    Erica van der Sijpt is a senior researcher at the AIGHD and research associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Bucharest in Romania. She is currently involved in the development of a research project on self-care practices and interventions in the domain of sexual and reproductive health. Before she joined AIGHD, she conducted anthropological research on reproductive health, uncertainties, and decision-making. In her PhD project (2006-2011), she looked at how Cameroonian women navigate the ambiguities around different forms of reproductive loss. In her post-doctoral studies (2012-2018), she examined the insecurities arising around different fertility events in the lives of Romanian women. Her research findings have been published in a monograph (Wasted Wombs: Navigating Reproductive Interruptions – Vanderbilt University Press, 2018) and in various medical anthropological journals.

    Over the last 15 years, Erica has also created and taught different medical anthropological and methodological courses at the University of Amsterdam, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands School of Public and Occupational Health (NSPOH), and the GGD Academy in the Netherlands, as well as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, the University of Bucharest in Romania, and BRAC University in Bangladesh.

  • Fatima Bapumia

    Dr. Fatima Bapumia is a research fellow in the project What’s at Stake in the Fake in which she and Rene Gerrets look into the use of language as a symbolic interpretation of anxieties around ‘fake’ drugs in Tanzania. Fatima works with ethnographic fieldwork methods to understand how ‘rumors about things fake’ circulate in and animate local contexts and influence peoples’ interactions around pharmaceuticals. She is particularly interested in how the notion of ‘fakeness’ is verbalized in Gujarati and other South Asian languages popularly spoken in Tanzania.

    In 2016 Fatima received her doctoral degree in cultural studies from the University of Leipzig. Her thesis addresses the dynamics of cultural boundaries among ethno-racial minorities in Tanzania. As a participant-observer, Fatima explored the role of religion and popular culture in the processes of inclusion and exclusion in ethno-racial communities. She worked with high school youngsters identifying themselves as South Asian, Arab, and Balouch in their everyday encounters with their African classmates, friends, and neighbors. The verbal expression of ethno-racial othering stood out in Fatima’s doctoral research. Fatima’s current research anchors upon pharmaceuticals to further extend her interest in ethnicity, migration, and cultural boundaries.

  • Joke Haafkens

    After finishing her MA degree in social psychology, Joke Haafkens became an assistant professor at the Institute of Preventive and Social and Preventive Psychiatry of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam in 1982. Together with colleagues she laid the groundwork for a qualitative and mixed methods research approach to social determinants of (mental) health, which until then had received little attention in medical schools. After her doctoral study on long-term benzodiazepine use among women (Rituals of Silence 1997), she further engaged in national and international studies on social determinants of health as a researcher, teacher and research coordinator (PI) at the University of Amsterdam.

    Gender and health

    At the department of general practice (AMC) Joke coordinated and supervised a series of national and international research projects on sex- and gender-related determinants of health. These studies focused on tranquillizer use; the development of clinical practice guidelines; the ethical approval, design and conduct of (basic) biomedical research in the EU; evidence-based medicine; medical education; and, in collaboration with WHO, public health policy development and implementation.

    Ethnic diversity and cardiovascular health

    Starting with a study on perspectives of patients from different ethnic groups in the Netherlands on hypertension (Beune et al. 2004), Haafkens subsequently investigated the perspective on diabetes management among ethnic minorities living in the Netherlands. These studies were followed by projects evaluating the implementation of culturally adapted programs for hypertension education and management in primary care. In addition to publications, these studies led to practical tools: training modules on culturally adapted cardiovascular health management for patients, general practitioners and nurses.

    Work and health

    Since 2000 a main topic of Haafkens’ research is “work and health”. After exploring what employees with a chronic condition need to cope at work (Detaille, 2003), her research program at AIAS focused on the role of human research management in the retention of chronically ill workers (Haafkens 2011), what European employees and employers are willing to invest in occupational health and safety measures at the workplace during times of economic crisis and on “how salaried medical specialists in the Netherlands experience and deal with shift work”.

    Global health

    Recently, Haafkens’ research extended from Europe to Africa and Asia. As UvA partner in the EU funded project INTREC, she played a key role in developing blended learning educational programs to facilitate research and policy on social determinants of health in Africa and Asia (Haafkens 2013). In cooperation with Asian and European research groups, she is currently involved in a new initiative to tackle a key social determinant of health in South East Asia: tobacco use. In 2016, Haafkens initiated 2 new PhD projects at AIAS on health and safety management in the informal sector of the economy in Africa, together with Paul de Beer. Building on experiences in Amsterdam, Haafkens also co-supervised a PhD project that developed and evaluated a tailored community-based cardiovascular health education program for low income patients with high blood pressure in Kwara State, Nigeria.

    With social- and work-related determinants of health as main themes, Haafkens’ current research interests include global health; stakeholder perspectives (e.g., patients, health care providers, employees, employers, employee organizations, policy makers) on social and work-related risk factors for ill health and the development and (realist) evaluation of tailored educational programs, policies or other interventions to overcome avoidable health risks.