Project Associates

Dr Chisomo Kalinga

Dr Chisomo Kalinga

I completed my doctoral studies in English research at King’s College London in July 2014. My work focuses on responses to HIV/AIDS with regional interests in Anglophone Africa (with specialization on Malawi), the United States and the United Kingdom. My research scope includes illness narratives and medical humanities scholarship.

I recently completed a research project at IASH titled ‘Narratives of Magic and Medicine in British Central Africa Protectorate/Nyasaland: Journals of the Medical Missionaries from the Church of Scotland (1875-1915)’. By examining the legacy of Scottish missionary work in Malawi in the context of colonialism and empire, I was able to trace the influences of Scottish enterprises in the development of Malawi’s modern medical and literary cultures.

My long-term objective is to provide cultural and historical analyses to contemporary medical crises, particularly the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi, through an review of artistic, literary and narrative productions.

See more information about Dr. Kalinga at: Dr. Chisomo Kalinga at Edinburgh
Also see the Malawi Medical Humanities blog here: Malawi Medical Humanities Network
Medical Humanities website: 2017 Inaugural Medical Humanities Conference

Dr Beth Vale 

Dr Beth Vale

Dr Beth Vale is an independent writer, researcher, and consultant, whose work spans health anthropology, creative non-fiction and body politics. She is currently working on a book that tells the recent history of South Africa’s desert heartland through stories of health and healing. Before beginning work on her book, Beth worked at the policy think-tank, MISTRA, leading research on Indlulamithi Scenarios 2030, and contributing to publications on Epidemics in Africa and Traditional Leadership. She also spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, examining the every-night politics of Johannesburg nightclubs.

As a 2012 Rhodes Scholar, Beth’s completed her DPhil at Oxford. Her thesis explored the medication-taking practices of HIV-positive adolescents in the Eastern Cape. This DPhil work was preceded by close to 10 years of HIV research and advocacy, beginning in her student days at Rhodes University. Outside of her paid work, Beth is an aspiring slam poet, podcaster and songwriter.


Dr Olutobi Sanuade  

Dr Olutobi Sanuade

Olutobi’s research over the past five years has focused on issues of population health and ageing. Specifically, he has researched on: trends of cardiovascular disease mortality in Ghana, using autopsy cases from Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH); burden of stroke in Ghana with specific focus on prevalence, correlates, knowledge, experience and caregiving; community-based cardiovascular disease interventions, and; the health and wellbeing of the elderly in Ghana and Nigeria. As part of the Wellcome-funded project at UCL, Olutobi will be researching the history of chronic and noncommunicable diseases in Ghana, including their interaction with infectious disease and their relationship to socio-economic status and demographic factors. Building on his earlier work, he will engage with health professionals, policy makers, people living with NCDs (and their caregivers) and lay individuals to determine how they make sense of chronic NCDs.

In Ghana Olutobi belongs to a multi-disciplinary research team (Cardiovascular Research Training Team) that includes: two Surgeons, one Radiotherapist, one Dentist, one Hematologist and one Population Scientist. The team is working on a project which looks at the causes of delay in breast cancer treatment at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Ghana. The Project specifically seeks to identify the patient-, healthcare provider- and health system factors that contribute to prolonged waiting time-to-treatment among breast cancer patients at KBTH. This project is funded by Fogarty International Center.

Olutobi completed his PhD (2016) in Population Studies from the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana. He also had an MPHIL in Population Studies from the University of Ghana and BSc in Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He has worked as a Field Editor and Field Supervisor on a longitudinal project on “Urban Health and Poverty Project” in Accra, Ghana. He has also worked as a Research Assistant on a mental health project which examined the psychosocial conditions of people living with mental illnesses (and their caregivers) in Northern Ghana.


Dr Marissa Mika

Dr Marissa Mika

Dr Marissa Mika

Marissa’s research over the past decade has focused on the politics, practices and contradictions of Africanising biomedical research in eastern Africa. Her book in progress, “Research is Our Resource”: Experiments and Politics at an African Cancer Institute, tells the story of how the Uganda Cancer Institute transformed from a small experimental research facility into the key site of public oncology goods in the Great Lakes region. She is currently collaborating with photographer Andrea Stultiens on a historical and contemporary photo book on the Institute as part of its 50-year anniversary celebrations. In addition to new work in South Africa, she is in the early stages of a project on the technologies of medical waste. ‘Where There is No Incinerator’ examines the thin line between disposability and reuse in health work in sub-Saharan Africa.

Marissa holds a PhD (2015) in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MHS (2007) in International Health from Johns Hopkins. Before teaching and studying African history, she worked in international development and public health. Since 2002, she has lived for extended periods of time in South Africa, Togo and Uganda. Her research has been supported by a variety of institutions including the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.