Global Health and Medical Anthropology

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photo of Mozambique health center

Well-being, roles and satisfaction of health workers

This research initiative is focused on the development of strategies to support facility- and community-based health workers who endeavor to provide quality care in very low-resource settings. This is part of the global effort to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries and to provide patient-centered care while respecting the motivation and abilities of the health workers themselves.

Newborn baby

Preventing Childbirth Emergencies in Resource-Scarce Settings

This project studies how women and their caregivers identify complications during childbirth and decide to seek skilled care. In future phases, the project will examine how such local theories interact with economic and structural barriers to influence care-seeking trajectories.

Mother and baby lemurs

People, Primates and Pathogens: The Evolution of a Global Emergency and the Future of Conservation and Public Health Efforts

This project investigates the infectious disease exchange between human and nonhuman primates using two mycobacterial diseases – tuberculosis and leprosy – as case studies.

Illustration of doctor checking patient's throat

Neuromuscularly Controlled In Vivo Canine Larynx: A New Experimental Platform to Study Neurogenic Voice Disorders

The long-term goal of this collaborative ASU-Mayo Clinic project is to develop new techniques of functional electrical stimulation to accurately and reproducibly control the state of all the intrinsic laryngeal muscles involved in producing voice. 

Bar code

Impact of Barcode Scanning in Orthopedic Surgery

This project applies a new health care regulation on unique device identification (UDI) to the patient care setting and has high potential to inform U.S. health care.It will investigate the use of UDI technology in surgical services at Mayo Clinic Arizona, where an automated barcode system will serve as a model for an implemented UDI system.

Ethnohydrology survey collection

Global Ethnohydrology Study

The Global Ethnohydrology Study is a transdisciplinary multi-year, multi-site program of research that examines the range of variation in local ecological knowledge of water issues, also known as “ethnohydrology.” It will focus on showing how factors, such as increasing urbanization, water scarcity and climate change, are related to changes in cultural ideas and knowledge. 

Blood collection tubes

Anthropology of Host-Pathogen Co-Evolution

This project examines the co-evolution of humans and our pathogens using an anthropological perspective that incorporates both evolutionary time depth, and short-term individual and species histories.

TB stain

Ancient Tuberculosis in the Americas

This research addresses the issue of tuberculosis evolution in the Americas through the study of skeletal collections from throughout the Western Hemisphere, including those held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). 

Sea lion on rocks

Ancient American Tuberculosis: Origin(s), Spread & Replacement

This project will provide insight into the process by which pathogens adapt to new hosts and the impact of human migration and interaction on the spread of pathogens in the past. Researchers will test the hypothesis that prehistoric TB in the Americas was caused by strains in the M. tuberculosis group or complex (specifically strains found in seals and sea lions) that “jumped” into humans and then spread from human to human, moving north from South America into Central and North America via trade routes.

TB mycobacterium

An Investigation of the Evolutionary History of Tuberculosis Using Ancient DNA

The goal of this project is to analyze ancient DNA from skeletal samples dating before, during and after the “Age of Exploration” that show evidence of tubercular bone lesions and integrate these data with those of modern strains of tuberculosis to assess the evolutionary history of tuberculosis and its effects on human history.