I am a cultural and medical anthropologist with interests encompassing the anthropology of science, biomedicine and psychiatry; addiction and its treatment; suggestion and healing; and post-socialist transformations in Eurasia. I am particularly concerned with the circulation of new forms of knowledge and clinical intervention produced by biomedicine, neuroscience and psychiatry. My work follows therapeutic technologies as they move both from "bench to bedside" and from one cultural or institutional setting to another, examining how they intersect with the lives of practitioners and patients.
Two new projects, both based largely in North America, are in an earlier stage of development. The first of these, a collaboration with Stephanie Lloyd and other researchers in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, examines the emerging field of "behavioral epigenetics," with a particular focus on research about suicidal risk. We are in the process of carrying out an ethnographic study to examine how neuroscientists, geneticists and psychiatrists draw upon the latest scientific knowledge to explain suicide, and how family members, in turn, take up these explanations. I have also begun a second project, which will examine how contemporary logics, practices and politics of mental health and illness intersect with class distinctions and aspirations for upward mobility among undergraduates in the United States.