Linda Garro, President
University of California, Los Angeles

GarroLinda GarroLINDA C. GARRO holds doctorates in Social Sciences – Anthropology (1983, University of California, Irvine) and Cognitive Psychology (1982, Duke University). She is Professor of Anthropology and Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research activities are in the areas of medical and psychological anthropology and include: how families make health care decisions; matters of health and illness in everyday life contexts; representing cultural knowledge about illness; cultural consensus and patterned variability in such knowledge; illness narratives; and remembering as a jointly social, cultural and cognitive process, or, more broadly, the intertwining of cultural, social and cognitive processes in “effort after meaning” as part of everyday life. She is co-author, with James Young, of Medical Choice in a Mexican Village and co-editor, with Cheryl Mattingly, of Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing. Her articles have appeared in American Anthropologist; American Ethnologist; Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; Ethos; Social Science and Medicine; Transcultural Psychiatry; and other journals. In 1999, she received the Stirling Award from the Society for Psychological Anthropology.


Elisa Sobo, President Elect
San Diego State University

Elisa SoboElisa “EJ” Sobo is a professor of anthropology at San Diego State University (SDSU). Prior to joining SDSU in 2005, she worked for the Veterans Healthcare Administration and, before that, for Children’s Hospital San Diego. Her current research focuses on the intersection of education and the cultivation of health. Representative publications include “Salutogenic Education and the Lifescape Paradigm: Movement and Whole Child Health in a Waldorf (Steiner) School”; “Play’s Relation to Health and Well Being in Preschool and Kindergarten”; and “High Physical Activity Levels in Waldorf/Steiner Education Refect Alternative Developmental Understandings.” Recent books include Dynamics of Human Bio-cultural Diversity: A Unifed Approach; The Cultural Context of Health, Illness and Medicine; and Culture and Meaning in Health Services Research: A Practical Field Guide. Sobo is presently on the editorial boards of Anthropology & Medicine, Medical Anthropology, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. She has served on the Society for Medical Anthropology’s executive board previously (2004-07), and she has chaired various SMA interest groups as well: the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group (AARG, 1999-2000), the group for Clinically Applied Medical Anthropology (CAMA, 2001-03), and the Council on Infant and Child Health and Welfare (CICH). Within the AAA, EJ has served on and co-chaired the Committee on Public Policy (CoPP, 2009-11) and she is presently on the steering committee of the Anthropology of Childhood and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG, 2011-present).


Janelle S. Taylor, Secretary 
University of Washington

Janelle S. TaylorJanelle Taylor is a Professor in and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. Her work seeks to document and understand how people make meaning around illness, and how those meanings matter in the world—shaping the kinds of actions people take, the kinds of knowledge and technology they produce, and the kinds of bodies, lives, and social relations they create. Dr. Taylor’s research has focused on a variety of topics relating to medical technology, medical education, and medical practice in the U.S.—including fetal ultrasound imaging, medical decision-making at the end of life, and how “culture” is understood and taught within medical education. Lately she has been pursuing research on standardized patient performances (i.e., staged clinical encounters with actors who role-play patients), and on dementia. Both projects examine how persons get represented within U.S. biomedicine, and consider the social, cultural, political, and clinical consequences that follow. Her publications include The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram: Technology, Consumption, and the Politics of Reproduction (2008); the coedited volume Consuming Motherhood (2004); “On Recognition, Caring, and Dementia” (MAQ 2008), and “The Story Catches You and You Fall Down: Tragedy, Ethnography, and ‘Cultural Competence’” (MAQ 2003).

Doug Henry, Treasurer

University of North Texas

Doug HenryI am an Associate Professor and Medical Anthropologist at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. I am broadly interested in health care decision making, particularly self-treatment, along with public health, violence and health, forced migration upon disasters, and distress idioms. I have published numerous articles on the Sierra Leone conflict and responses to refugees, particularly in the areas of refugee health, the structural violence of resource extraction and war, continuing forms of “post-conflict” violence against women, disasters and international aid, youth, and HIV. Since having children, I have become increasingly interested in sleep disorders, and the culture of sleep and alertness, as prisms which refract meaningful social discussions about power, gender, sick roles, and our preoccupations with work, and productivity. As incoming treasurer, I hope the SMA can continue to show its public face. This should be easy for us- our critical engagement with the world and the well-being of its people takes our work across clinics, communities, and health campaigns. This is why I love our field, in its combination of critical and applied significance.

Roberta Baer
University of South Florida

Roberta BaerI am a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. I received my Ph.D. in 1984 for the University of Arizona, doing dissertation research in northern Mexico on relationships between household patterns of income allocation and dietary patterns and nutritional status (Cooking and Coping Among the Cacti, 1998). A set of research projects in the late 1980’s focused on Mexican use of lead based remedies to treat the folk illness, empacho. In the 1990’s, I conducted a series of studies on biomedical correlates of folk illness among migrant workers in Florida. This has been followed by a long term collaboration with Susan Weller, as well as my Mexican colleagues, Javier Garcia de Alba, and Ana Salcedo Rocha on cross cultural understandings of disease and illness among laypeople and physicians. In a 2012 study of beliefs about diabetes among Mexican and US laypeople, physicians and patients, we expanded our samples to include patients. And my most current work focuses on comparisons of perceptions of H1N1 (and how it differs from the common cold) in Mexican and US lay and physician populations, and looks at the effect of social class on these beliefs.


Alexander Edmonds
University of Edinburgh

Alexander EdmondsAlex Edmonds is Professor of Social and Medical Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.  His research interests include plastic surgery and beauty, mental health and psychological expertise, military cultures, visual anthropology and international development. Regionally, he works primarily in Brazil and the United States. His book, Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil, tracks the emergence of Brazil as a global leader in plastic surgery.  His research in Brazil received the Diana Forsythe Prize for best book in the anthropology of science, technology and biomedicine, the Eileen Basker Prize for research on gender and health, and the David Edge prize for best journal article in STS. He is currently doing a comparative study of psychological health and reintegration among soldiers after combat, with funding from the European Research Council. He holds a PhD in anthropology from Princeton University.


John (Juan) Luque
Medical University of South Carolina

John (Juan) LuqueJohn (Juan) Luque, PhD, MPH is associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine and Hollings Cancer Center at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Luque received his doctoral degree in medical anthropology and his MPH from the University of South Florida where his research was focused on child respiratory health and natural disasters in Andean Ecuador. He also received postdoctoral training in behavioral oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. He has served as Principal Investigator on multiple research projects sponsored by the National Institutes of Health on cultural factors related to cancer screening and attitudes toward cancer prevention in Latino and African-American populations in the U.S. South. He is currently testing the effectiveness of lay health advisor programs to increase cancer prevention and control in these populations. He has expanded his interest in cancer education to work with a cervical cancer screening clinic in Cusco, Peru to promote screening opportunities in low resource communities. Luque has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals in anthropology, medicine, and public health. With Chad Morris, he co-edited Anthropological Insights on Effective Community-Based Coalition Practice for a special issue of the Annals of Anthropological Practice in 2011. Luque has served on the SMA Career Achievement Committee since 2012.


Athena Mclean
Central Michigan University

Athena McleanAthena Mclean, Ph.D. is Professor of Anthropology at Central Michigan University, where she teaches medical anthropology, theory, ethnography, aging, and global justice. Dr. McLean headed the Ethnographic Research Unit of the TRIL (Technology Research for Independent Living) Project in Ireland (2007–2008). Her research has taken her to Greece and Cyprus. She has enduring interests and publications in the production of medical knowledge, psychiatric patients’ rights movements, and dementia care. She has more recently focused on personhood/citizen rights debates regarding dementia care, the ethics of using monitoring technologies with cognitively impaired elders, and the limitations of biomarkers for identifying dementia risk, with attention to the moral and experiential dimensions of caregiving and structural and ideological impediments to care. Her book, The Person in Dementia: a study of nursing home care in the US (2007, U of Toronto Press), earned the SMA New Millennium Award in 2009. With Annette Leibing, she co-edited The Shadow Side of Fieldwork: Exploring the blurred borders between ethnography and life as part of her continued interest in subjectivity in ethnographic research (2007). She has also served as the Co-Chair of the CMA (previously, Critical Medical Anthropology, now the Critical Anthropology of Global Health Caucus) (1994–1997), and was CMA’s Coordinator for the Rudolf Virchow Award Committee (1997–2007).


James Pfeiffer
University of Washington

James PfeifferJames Pfeiffer PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Pfeiffer is also the Executive Director of Health Alliance International, a Seattle-based non-profit affiliated with the UW, where he helps coordinate and manage a wide range of public health programs, operations research projects, and program evaluations in Mozambique, Cote D’Ivoire, and East Timor. He received his doctoral degree in medical anthropology and his MPH from UCLA where his interests centered on inequality and the political economy of health in southern Africa. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Mozambique on primary health care, the scale-up of HIV/AIDS treatment and PMTCT, health system strengthening, and community health resources including churches and traditional healers. Other research has focused on development policy, NGOs, churches, and primary health care. Dr. Pfeiffer’s article  “African Independent Churches in Mozambique: Healing the Afflictions of Inequality” received the Polar Prize in 2003.


Lesley Sharp
Barnard College and Columbia University

Lesley SharpLesley A. Sharp is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and senior research scientist in sociomedical sciences of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Her areas of specialization include religious forms of healing, body commodifcation, anthropological critiques of bioethics, and the moral dimensions of experimental science. Sharp is the author of five books, including The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town (1993); Strange Harvest: Organ Transplants, Denatured Bodies, and the Transformed Self (2006), which won the SMA New Millennium Book Prize; The Transplant Imaginary: Mechanical Parts, Animal Parts, and Moral Thinking in Highly Experimental Science (2013); and the forthcoming co-edited volume with Nancy Chen, Bioinsecurity and Vulnerability (2014).


Sarah Willen
University of Connecticut

Sarah Willen

Sarah S. Willen, PhD, MPH is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, where she is also Director of the Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights at the Human Rights Institute. A medical and sociocultural anthropologist, she is an alumna of Emory University and a former NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her current research interests include illegalized migration from West Africa and the Philippines to Tel Aviv, Israel; health and human rights activism in Israel and the U.S.; and social justice mobilization in the context of U.S. medical education. She has authored over 25 articles and book chapters and edited or co-edited seven volumes, including special issues of Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry (2013), Social Science & Medicine (2012), Ethos (2012), and International Migration (2007) as well as Shattering Culture: American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity (Russell Sage, 2011), A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), and Transnational Migration to Israel in Global Comparative Context (Lexington, 2007). Her key publications include articles in Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2011) and the Harvard Review of Psychiatry (2010). Willen is also co-founder and co-editor of the blog AccessDenied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health, which began as an SMA Take a Stand Initiative.

Cathleen Willging
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and University of New Mexico

Cathleen WillgingCathleen Willging, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Willging received her doctoral degree in anthropology at Rutgers University and undertook her postdoctoral studies at the University of New Mexico where she specialized in both mental health services research and evaluation. Willging is a practicing medical anthropologist focused on public mental health and substance use services in the United States, institutional ethnography, health care reform, and the advancement of culturally- and contextually-relevant programs to support marginalized groups affected by persistent disparities. Shaped by anthropological theory and praxis, Willging’s research bridges the fields of public health, psychiatry, and social work, and typically involves mixed-method research designs, participatory methods, and team-based ethnography. She has researched and written about a variety of topics related to managed care, health policy, rural populations, and implementation of major systems-change initiatives to provide child welfare and mental health services in multiple states. Willging’s current work is concerned with adapting and developing mental health interventions to help ameliorate the effects of social injustice experienced by psychiatrized populations, including incarcerated women and gender and sexual minorities.


Jonathan Stillo, MASA President
The City University of New York Graduate Center

Jonathan StilloJonathan Stillo is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He has been an Adjunct Lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in both the anthropology department and in the NYPD Leadership Program, and the High School Anthropology Program Manager at the American Museum of Natural History. He has received research grants from NSF, SSRC, and Fulbright-Hays, among others. Since 2006, Jonathan has been researching tuberculosis in Romania—including living at a Romanian TB sanatorium for several months—interviewing hundreds of patients and dozens of medical personnel. His research focuses on the connections between TB and existing structures of health and social welfare, with a focus on the increasing role that medical institutions play in the provision of social welfare. Jonathan has also served as an International Expert on the World Health Organization team that conducted the 2013 review of Moldova’s national TB program, and is a coauthor of a 2013 study published in the European Respiratory Journal that estimated the economic burden of TB in the European Union.  He has a recently published article in Anthropology Now on Romanian women’s experiences with tuberculosis entitled “Who Cares for Caregivers” (2012).  His blog posts about the sanatorium and working with dying patients are available at

Ex-Officio Members

Clarence C. Gravlee, MAQ Editor
University of Florida

Clarence C. GravleeClarence (Lance) Gravlee is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on the social and cultural context of racial inequalities in health. Gravlee takes a critical biocultural approach to health and human development, drawing on methods and theory from the social and biological sciences. His current primary project focuses on the health effects of racism among African Americans in Tallahassee, FL. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, the NSF-funded project integrates ethnography, social network analysis, epidemiology, and genetics. Gravlee has done work on racism, stress, and health in Puerto Rico and in Detroit, MI, as part of the Healthy Environments Partnership. He also has been involved in the Tsimane’ Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS), which examines the health consequences of globalization among indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon. Dr. Gravlee received the 2010 Rudolph Virchow Award from the Critical Anthropology of Global Health Caucus of SMA for his paper “How Race Becomes Biology: Embodiment of Social Inequality.” He is the Editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2013-2016) and co-editor (with H. Russell Bernard) of the forthcoming second edition of the Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology.

Megan A. Carney
Contributing Editor, AnthropologyNews

Arizona State University

Megan A. CarneyMegan A Carney is a critical medical anthropologist specializing in migrant women’s health. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate with the Comparative Border Studies Institute at Arizona State University and Affiliated Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is engaged in two postdoctoral research projects, one exploring the field of migrant mental health and repercussions of post-9/11 immigration enforcement practices in the U.S., and the other examining the health-seeking behaviors of female asylum-seekers from North Africa and the Middle East and the NGO-ization of care in the context of Italy’s austerity measures. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she conducted 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork among Mexican and Central American migrant women examining the lived experience of “food insecurity” and state approaches to dietary health problems. The findings of this research will be featured in her forthcoming book with University of California Press.


Sean Bruna, Web Editor
Western Washington University

Sean BrunaSean Bruna, PhD. holds a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (2013) and is an Assistant Professor at Western Washington University.  Sean’s research utilizes mixed-methods research to examine the intersections of identity and chronic disease (type 2 diabets and hypertension) in partnership with American Indian and Latino communities. He has training in team science, inter/transdisciplinary research, comparative effectiveness research (CER), and community based participatory research (CBPR) in frontier, rural and urban settings.  Learn more about Sean at or @seanbruna.


Elizabeth Lewis, SMA Online Newsletter Editor
University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth LewisElizabeth Lewis is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research examines shifting understandings of rare and undiagnosed disability in the contemporary U.S., and she is particularly interested the experiences of families within this dynamic diagnostic community. Her work is closely informed by her training in medical anthropology and disability studies, as well as by innovative approaches to digital methodologies and ethnographic writing. Her research stems from her intellectual, professional, and personal connections with and commitments to the disability community in the U.S. and also internationally, and her work highlights the intersections of anthropology and disability studies. Elizabeth is also an outspoken advocate for the use of digital and social media in anthropology, and she has extensive experience in this arena. She is a contributing writer for Somatosphere and has been an Editorial Intern for Cultural Anthropology since 2010. She is also the founder and editor of Disability Fieldnotes, one of the few websites devoted to the anthropology of disability. Elizabeth is very active on Twitter and can be found at @lizlewisanthro.

Carolyn (Cari) Merritt, SMA Administrative Assistant
University of California, Los Angeles

Carolyn (Cari) MerrittCarolyn (Cari) Merritt is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose work falls under the departmental specialization in medical and psychological anthropology. Her current MA research examines variation in physicians’ models of expertise for treating chronic vulvar pain in the United States to better appreciate the interface between cultural and individual orientations to competent care. In addition to exploring the ways physicians differ in the connections they draw between pain, gender, and personhood, she is also interested in the potential implications that varying treatment approaches by clinicians have for patients’ understandings of ‘sexual health.’