Cinzia Greco

Dr, PhD, Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow

Personal profile


After obtaining degrees in Italian Literature (University of Lecce-Salento), Cultural Anthropology (University of Bologna) and Gender Studies (École des hautes études en sciences sociales), I obtained a PhD in Health, Population and Social Policies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in 2016. My PhD research focused on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery of the breast, and I have in particular explored the experiences and visions that patients and medical professionals have of these surgical procedures in France and Italy. My doctoral research was supported by a Social and Human Sciences doctoral scholarship of the Cancéropôle Île-de-France and was awarded the Barbara Rosenblum Dissertation Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer, of the Sociologists for Women in Society. My work is situated at the intersection of medical anthropology, gender studies and the contemporary history of medicine. Between 2016 and 2018 I was a Newton International Fellow, with a project on the recent history of metastatic breast cancer. From 2018 to 2022 I have completed a research project on how medical innovation and healthcare policy impact cancer patients funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences. Between 2022 and 2023 I have worked on the SCALE project on the experiences of clinical academic careers.

My teaching activities involve PhD, Master and Undergraduate supervision, and I am the coordinator of the Research Skill Module, Science and Society. 

I am also a member of the University Research Ethics Committee. 

I have a strong interest in publishing and editorial activities within academia and I am also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the open-access journal Anthropologie&Santé, the leading francophone journal for medical anthropology.

Since 2023, I have been a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and the PI of a project on the experiences of medical uncertainty.

Research interests

My current project, titled "Multi-layered medical uncertainty: The interaction between medical research, the clinic and patient experience in the context of highly uncertain conditions”, funded by the Wellcome Trust, explores the different dimensions of medical uncertainty. The project focuses in particular on four conditions: fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Long Covid and ‘chemobrain’. It combines interviews with people living with the these conditions and clinicians and researchers, documental analyses, and analyses of online debates, with a focus on the UK. The key goals of this project are 1) to understand the transformations of these conditions in recent history, including the experiences of patients and medical professionals, 2) develop resources to raise awareness of the conditions and of their impact, in particular among medical students and primary care professionals and 3) to build a wider and more systematic understanding of uncertainty in medicine.

I have worked for more than a decade on the social and cultural aspects of cancer, with a particular focus on breast cancer and lung cancer. I have conducted research in France, Italy and the UK, on different topics including mastectomy and post mastectomy reconstruction; metastatic breast cancer; the impact of medical innovation and healthcare policy change on patients’ experiences; and the links between the environment, cancer, and health-related geographic mobility.

I have a longstanding interest in the experiences of patients, in the role of medical professionals in shaping such experiences and in the how medical systems shape the experiences of both patients and professionals.

I have more recently taken an interest in autism and neurodiversity, especially in the inclusion in the category of previously under-recognised groups (including women, people diagnosed in adulthood, ethnic and racial minorities, and people with a working-class background) and in the links between larger transformations in sociality and the changes in autism.

Prizes and awards

2018-2021: Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science

2016-2018: Newton International Fellowship  

2016: Barbara Rosenblum Dissertation Scholarship for the Study of Women and Cancer – Sociologists for Women in Society  

2011-2014: Social and Human Sciences doctoral scholarship – Cancéropôle Île-de-France  

Travel grants: 2014 – Feminist Theory Workshop, Duke University; 2013 – European Sociological Association general conference, PhD Workshop, Turin

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)

Award Date: 31 Mar 2016

Master of Arts, Gender, Politics and Sexuality , Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)

Award Date: 30 Oct 2011

Master of Arts, Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology , Universita Degli Studi Bologna

Award Date: 31 Jul 2010

Areas of expertise

  • GN Anthropology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Cancer
  • Gender
  • Neurodiversity
  • Medical Uncertainty


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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