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Tamara Giles-Vernick

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, 2007-2008.

Fellow, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, University of Minnesota, 2006-7.

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

T. Giles-Vernick, A. Traoré, L. Bainilago, “Incertitude, hepatitis B and infant vaccination in West and Central Africa” Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2015) doi: 10.1111/maq.1218.

T. Giles-Vernick, L. Bainilago, M. Fofana, P. Bata, M. Vray, “Home Care of Diarrheal Children in Bangui’s Therapeutic Landscape (Central African Republic)” Qualitative Health Research doi:10.1177/1049732315570117 qhr.sagepub.com

T. Giles-Vernick et al, “The puzzle of Buruli ulcer transmission, ethno-ecological history and the end of "love" in the Akonolinga district," Cameroon Social Science & Medicine, vol 129, pp. 20-27, 2015.

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

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


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

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

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



Senior Fellow Humans & the Microbiome


Institut PasteurUnité d’Epidémiologie des Maladies Emergentes


HDR (Medical Anthropology) Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

PhD (African History) John Hopkins University

MA (African History) John Hopkins University

BA (History) Pomona College



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