Tamara Giles-Vernick



  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome


  • Institut Pasteur
Unité d’epidémiologie des maladies emergentes


  • France


HDR (Medical Anthropology), École des hautes études en sciences sociales
PhD (African History), Johns Hopkins University
MA (African History), Johns Hopkins University
BA (History), Pomona College


Tamara Giles-Vernick conducts research at the interstices of ethnohistory and medical anthropology, investigating infectious disease transmission and global health interventions in Africa.

She is the principal investigator of a project examining the changing nature and potential health implications of human contact with great apes in Equatorial Africa. She also leads projects examining hepatitis B vaccination, diagnosis and treatment research in West and Central Africa, and the historical emergence of HIV in Central Africa. Her other health-related research has included infantile diarrhea in the Central African Republic; an historical epidemiology of malaria in West Africa; hepatitis C transmission in hospital and dental settings in Egypt; a comparative history of pandemic influenza; a history of global health in Africa; and the history of epidemiological surveillance.


Fellow, Centre de recherches historiques, Institut Pasteur, Paris, 2007–08

Fellow, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, University of Minnesota, 2006–07

McKnight Summer Fellow, University of Minnesota, 2005

Aldo Leopold Prize, American Society of Environmental History, 1999

Robert F. Heizer Prize, American Society for Ethnohistory, 1996

Relevant Publications

Giles-Vernick, T., A. Traoré, and L. Bainilago. “Incertitude, hepatitis B and infant vaccination in West and Central Africa.” Med Anthropol Q. 30, no. 2 (June 2016): 203–21.

Giles-Vernick, T. et al. “Home Care of Diarrheal Children in Bangui’s Therapeutic Landscape (Central African Republic).” Qualitative Health Research 26, no. 2 (2016): 164–75.

Giles-Vernick, T. et al. “The puzzle of Buruli ulcer transmission, ethno-ecological history and the end of ‘love’ in the Akonolinga district." Cameroon Social Science & Medicine 129 (2015): 20–27.

Bekondi, C. et al. “HBV immunization and vaccine coverage among hospitalized children in Cameroon, Central African Republic and Senegal.” BMC Infectious Diseases 12, no. 15 (2015): 267.

Giles-Vernick, T. et al. "Social History, Biology and the Emergence of HIV in Colonial Africa." J. Afr. Hist. 54, no. 1 (March 2013): 11–30. 

Giles-Vernick, T., and J.L.A. Webb Jr., eds. Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2013.

Giles-Vernick, T., and S. Craddock, eds. Influenza and Public Health: Learning from Past Pandemics. London: Routledge/Earthscan, 2010.

Giles-Vernick, T. Cutting the Vines of the Past: Environmental Histories of the Central African Rain Forest. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002.