Medical Anthropology

Brunel is one of the largest centres for research in medical anthropology in Europe. Staff belonging to the Centre for Research in International Medical Anthropology adopt a variety of theoretical perspectives, ranging from clinically applied medical anthropology to critical medical anthropology. The work of its director, Melissa Parker, has focused on public health research issues in the UK and Africa, most notably her current research on neglected tropical diseases. Cecil Helman, whose work is standard reading for health professionals worldwide, focuses on clinical issues, in particular the application of anthropological research to the delivery of healthcare. His textbook on medical anthropology is used in 120 universities around the world. Isak Niehaus’s recent fieldwork focuses on the themes of sexuality, masculinity, de-industrialisation and the socio-cultural aspects of HIV/AIDS. James Staples, who has worked with people affected by leprosy in India, is currently looking at broader issues of disability and personhood, exploring how bodily differences are experienced and reconstituted by disabled people in their daily interactions.

Current research topics in CRIMA include:

  • Healing the social wounds of war
  • The integrated control of neglected tropical diseases 
  • The anthropology of primary health care 
  • The prevention and control of HIV and AIDS 
  • The social management of leprosy 
  • Gender, sexuality and morality 
  • Clinical practice in NHS settings

Page last updated: Friday 27 May 2011