Professor in the Practice of Humanities and Associate Director of the HRC
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

In the medical humanities, Melissa Bailar’s research focuses primarily on medical and anatomical museums, particularly questions about their curation and the ways in which their objects play on the uncanny. Many European museums cultivate a jumbled curiosity shop aesthetic, while displaying skeletons, wax models, and preserved human anomolies as well as sinister-looking medical instruments and occasional artifacts assembled from human body parts.

Professor of Art History and Religious Studies
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

Marcia Brennan's medical humanities research engages spirituality and comparative mysticism, modern and contemporary art history and museum studies, and the medical humanities.  She is the author of several books, including Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum (MIT Press, 2010); Modernism’s Masculine Subjects: Matisse, The New York School, and Post-Painterly Abstraction (MIT Press, 2004); and Painting Gender, Constructing Theory: The Alfred Stieglitz Circle and American Formalist Aesthetics (MIT Press, 2001).  She is the winner of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center Book Prize, and the recipient of grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Office of Research, Rice University, and Rice’s Humanities Research Center. 

Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

Eugenia Georges is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology.  She has conducted research on the implications of transnational migration for gender and class hierarchies in the Dominican Republic and on the political mobilization of Dominican immigrants in New York City.  Her research in Greece examines the medicalization of reproduction, with a focus on the historical processes through which pregnancy and Greek obstetrical practice have been shaped in interaction with a range of reproductive technologies.  Her research in Brazil examines the ethical and political strategies of a network of obstetricians-activists who have organized to demedicalize childbirth on the national level and redefine a range of choices in maternity care as a woman’s human right. 

Professor and Chair of Sociology, and Master of Will Rice College
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Bridget Gorman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology. Her research examines how social conditions and experiences shape group differences in health and well-being among children and adults. During her career she has organized her research efforts to examine disparities in morbidity, physical functioning, and medical care use across major U.S. demographic groups – particularly racial/ethnic, nativity, gender, and sexuality groups.

Professor of Sociology
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Dr. Kimbro's research focuses on racial and ethnic health disparities and family influences on health behaviors and outcomes. Current work examines family and neighborhood influences on child obesity, food insecurity, and physical activity in low-income and immigrant families. She is a Founding Faculty Member at Texas Children's Hospital's Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, a Baker Institute Scholar, and adjunct faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.

Associate Professor, Department of History
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

Professor López Alonso is an economic historian who works on historical anthropometry to assess the evolution of biological standards of living of given population. Her first book studied the Mexican population during the 1850-1950 period. Her current project examines the living standards of the population of New Spain (colonial Mexico) during the second half of the eighteenth century.

Associate Dean of Health Professions, Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Rice University Assistant Professor, Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Gia Merlo, M.D. has been Associate Dean of Health Professions at Rice University since 2014 and founding director of MPRO (Medical Professionalism and Observership at Rice University). She teaches Rice pre-medical students as well as conducts medical education research. Dr. Merlo finished her child and adult psychiatry training from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas in 1997. She was faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) before transitioning to full-time private practice and leadership roles in community psychiatry in the Philadelphia area. She has served on various boards including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Alumni Board and the board of directors for Laurel House, a non-profit organization. Dr. Merlo obtained her executive Masters of Business Administration degree in 2006 from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

Lecturer in the Public Humanities
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Dr. Mulligan works in the history of abstraction and the digital humanities. His work focuses on the intersections between art and science in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the question of mediation in digital humanistic work.

Professor of English, Medical Humanities Program Director and Committee Chair, and Director of Medical Futures Lab
Director of Steering Committee
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

Dr. Ostherr is the author of two books, Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies (Oxford, 2013) and Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005), and numerous articles. Her current research is on information and communication technologies in aging and end-of-life care, patient narratives in EHRs, and the role of simulation as a mediator between human and technological forms of medical expertise.

Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Dr. Matthews' research focuses on ethical and policy issues related to biomedical research and development. Specifically, she looks at regulation and ethical issues related to emerging biotechnology, including genetics and stem cell therapies, and the development of scientific research collaborations.

Malcolm Gillis University Professor, Director, Rice 360 Institute for Global Health, Department of Bioengineering
Steering Committee Member
Affiliated Faculty
Research Interests:

Guided by the belief that all of the world's people deserve access to health innovation, Professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum's research and teaching focus on developing low-cost, high-performance technology for low-resource settings. She is known for providing vulnerable populations in the developing world access to life-saving health technology, focusing on diseases and conditions that cause high morbidity and mortality, such as cervical and oral cancer, premature birt, and malaria.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Steering Committee Member
Research Interests:

Zoë Wool is assistant professor of anthropology and faculty associate in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University. Professor Wool’s research focuses on the experiences of injured American soldiers and veterans and their family members as well as on care and disability more broadly.