Global Challenges in Infectious Disease: Showcasing Social Science in Edinburgh

Global Challenges in Infectious Disease: Showcasing social science research in Edinburgh

This one day symposium has been organised by the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology and Edinburgh Infectious Diseases to bring together a wide spectrum of expertise in social sciences with relevance to infectious diseases research.

The day has been devised to facilitate discussion and interaction, and to seed ideas for future research collaborations. To this end, we very much encourage poster presentations.

The day will conclude with a drinks reception to which all are most welcome.

Provisional programme (subject to change)

    Session 1 – Disease Control Tools

    • Ian Harper, School of Social and Political Science, UoE - New diagnostics and TB control: Beyond the technology
    • Jennifer Palmer, Centre of African Studies, UoE - Integrating refugees into Uganda HAT elimination programme
    • Alex Nading, School of Social and Political Science, UoE - Mosquito control to combat Dengue

    Session 2 – One Health

    • Rebekah Thompson, School of Social and Political Science, UoE - One Health, helminth infection and pig farming in Uganda
    • Rebecca Marsland, School of Social and Political Science, UoE - Veterinary Anthropology: Infectious Disease

    Session 3 – Funding, Regulation and Partnership

    • Geoffrey Banda, Innogen Institute, UoE - Financing antiretroviral drugs in Zimbabwe
    • Janelle Winters, Usher Institute, UoE - World Bank Onchocerciasis control programmes from the 1970s to today
    • Anuj Kapilashrami, School of Social and Political Science, UoE - Global health 'partnerships' & HIV Management
    • Catherine Burns, Research Support Office for the GCRF, UoE - International Partnerships at the University of Edinburgh

    Keynote Lecture

    • Vinh Kim Nguyen, School of Public Health, Université de Montréal - Addressing the challenges of infectious diseases in the 21st century:  anthropological contributions

    Profile of keynote speaker Vinh-Kim Nguyen

    Vinh-Kim Nguyen is an HIV and Emergency physician and medical anthropologist. As both practitioner and researcher, he is concerned with the relationship between science, politics and practice in global health. He practices Emergency Medicine at Avicenna Hospital in Paris and the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal, currently holds an ERC Consolidator Grant (Research Chair) on the science and politics of a world without AIDS and heads a team of anthropologists researching the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. He is Professor in the School of Public Health the University of Montreal where he leads the PhD track in Global Health, and Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Development in the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva; he also holds an honorary chair at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris which hosts researchers working on global health issues.

    Since 1994 he has worked extensively with community organisations responding to the HIV epidemic in West Africa as a trainer and physician. This work informed his anthropological research on the global response to HIV with a concern for the forms of triage and sovereignty they embody. He continues to follow the evolving scientific and political response to HIV and Ebola in his current work. He draws on molecular epidemiology, global health and social theory to argue for a paradigm shift in eliminating infectious diseases.

    He is the author of The Republic of Therapy: Triage and Sovereignty in West Africa's Time of AIDS; coauthor, with Margaret Lock, of An Anthropology of Biomedicine and also the co-editor, with Jennifer Klot, of The Fourth Wave: Violence, Gender, Culture, and HIV in the 21st Century, as well as numerous articles in biomedical and anthropological journals. (


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