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Personal profile


I am a historian of science and medicine with a broad interest in 20th century biomedicine, human-animal relations and the history of science communication. At CHSTM, I am a Research Associate on the Animal Research Nexus collaborative award funded by the Wellcome Trust. I work with Rob Kirk to elucidate the history of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which regulates animal experimentation in the UK, and its effect on the practices, perceptions, and infrastructures of laboratory animal research.

My PhD thesis (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, 2015) examined the invention and early adoption of genetically modified (transgenic) mice, with close attention paid to circulation of materials, researchers and techniques, and the communication of this research to diverse audiences. I then joined the BBSRC-funded ‘Historicising Dolly’ project at Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh. My work in Edinburgh focused on the history of the Roslin Institute, where Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996, and the adoption of genetic engineering tools during the upheavals that the sciences faced in 1980s Britain.

I have also been investigating the history of bacteriophage therapy – the use of viruses to treat bacterial infections – across the Iron Curtain. A promising experimental treatment in the 1920s and 1930s, phage therapy was eclipsed by sulfa drugs and mass production of antibiotics during World War II, only surviving in Soviet Georgia and a few other socialist countries. I seek to explain both its decline and survival, as well as explore the recent interest in phage therapy in response to the growing anxieties about antibiotic resistance.  

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Transforming mice: Technique and communication in the making of transgenic animals, 1974–1988 , University of Cambridge

1 Oct 20109 May 2015

Award Date: 9 May 2015

Areas of expertise

  • D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
  • History of science
  • History of biomedicine
  • Science communication
  • Animal studies


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