History of Health Science Students

2015/2016 Cohort

Jason Fessel BA in Philosophy from Reed College

Jason's interests include critical theory, intellectual and social history, historical materialism, philosophy of science, history of psychiatry, cybernetics, the history of human performance enhancement (especially cognitive), military psychiatry, the history and sociology of extra-medical drug use, and the history of the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. He recently collaborated on the NIH-funded Heroin Price and Purity Outcomes study at UCSF (PI: D. Ciccarone). His co-authored paper, “Heroin-related overdose: The unexplored influences of markets, marketing and source-types in the United States”, was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. Jason is also a performing musician.

Cristina Nigro MS in Neurosciences from UC San Diego

Cristina is interested in the history of neuroscience, neuroethics, and public engagement with neuroscience and neurotechnologies. Most recently, as a staff member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, she examined the topics of cognitive enhancement, the capacity to consent to research, and the use of neuroscience-based evidence in the justice system.

2013/2014 Cohort

Sara Rhiannon Robertson BA, Communication, and BA, History, North Carolina State University

Sara is interested in botanical remedies extant during American settlement and expansion amongst traditional, domestic, and professional medical disciplines. She is also currently interested in forgotten ethnobotanical knowledge, social constructions of the body relative to disease, and discourses that determined which botanical remedies survived coalescent political, cultural, and professional spaces during the Colonial Period, Revolutionary Era, and Early Republic. She aims to integrate her work with modern phytochemical research regarding those secondary metabolites within plants that produce beneficial physiological effects on the body.

Margaret (Meg) Vigil-Fowler BA in History and English, University of Denver; MA in History, Boston University

Meg began studying the history of medicine when she chose a topic for her senior honors thesis that examined providing healthcare to the sick poor in Victorian Britain and the professionalization of medicine, a project she continued for her MA thesis. She has worked as a research assistant in the history of medicine at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health since 2010. Meg is currently researching women medical professionals’ involvement in women’s rights in the context of nineteenth-century transatlantic reform movements. Her broader research interests include the role of the state in health, gender and the history of the body, and medicine and empire.

Last modified: April 2, 2014