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Program in the History of Medicine Faculty & Administration

The Program in the History of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai brings together a distinguished faculty of doctors, scholars, authors and experts. The program’s faculty combines broad expertise in epidemiology, ethics, history and, of course, many facets of medicine.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Claire Gherini, PhD

Claire Gherini, PhD, is a historian of medicine, race and slavery in the Atlantic world. Her current book project, titled The Hot-House of Empire: Slavery and Medical Knowledge in the British Caribbean During the Era of Expansion (1763-1807), calls attention to ways that the increase of the British armed forces and the Atlantic slave trade in the Caribbean transformed the organizational medical care and medical authority within the plantation complex. The Hot-House of Empire recasts what is typically construed by scholars of slavery as the era of abolition as the era of expansion, a period when estates operated at a new scale that demanded the reorganization of medical care and provisions. During this period, when enslaved healers’ care work and pharmacological know-how remained critical in the recuperation of the sick, abolitionist pressures to end the Atlantic slave trade galvanized a new cast of middling sorts—overseers, surgeons and resident slaveholders—to lay claim to medical knowledge. Borrowing from the British army, these groups developed an informal corpus of ideas that focused on diseases, their proximate and pathological origins, and their mechanism of spread. Unearthing conflicts between enslaved people and colonists over sustenance, work, shelter and the findings of postmortem pathologies, Gherini stresses that understanding of diseases’ nature and origins were never self-evident, but rather the product of perpetual conflict and negotiation between enslaved people and colonists over access to resources. More broadly, in locating the ontological turn in the history of medicine in the plantation societies of the British Caribbean, she shows that the so-called reform of British medicine was not a top-down phenomenon. It was instead one that was deeply shaped by the violence that attended middling sorts’ efforts to extract labor value from enslaved people.

Gherini’s publications have appeared in Atlantic Studies and her research has been supported by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania as well as the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science.

Primary Faculty

Leon G. Fine, MD
Gideon Manning, PhD
Kirsten Moore-Sheeley, PhD

Kirsten Moore-Sheeley, PhD, is a historian of global health and public health in Africa, specializing in the history of biomedical science and technology in relation to disease control.

Along with a doctorate in the history of medicine, she holds a certificate in global health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Moore-Sheeley is currently undertaking a book project based on her dissertation, which tracks the history of insecticide-treated nets for malaria control from the 1980s to the present.

Her publications have appeared in Social History of Medicine and on the blog REMEDIA. Her work has been supported by the Beckman Center of the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation). 

Sari Siegel, PhD

Sari J. Siegel, PhD, is a historian who works at the intersection of several fields: modern European history, the history of medicine, and Holocaust and genocide studies. After completing her doctoral work at the University of Southern California, she was the 2018-2019 Geoffrey H. Hartman Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University's Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. She is now adapting her dissertation "Between Coercion and Resistance: Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi Camps, 1940-1945" into a book manuscript. In addition, with research funding from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives, and the German Historical Institute, she is embarking on a project that examines the roles and experiences of Jewish Displaced Person (DP) physicians who provided medical care to fellow Holocaust survivors in DP camps and health facilities in postwar Germany.

Beyond receiving research and writing support from numerous institutions, Siegel has held fellowships in residence at the Institute of Contemporary History Munich – Berlin, the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC). She has published peer-reviewed articles in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and S:I.M.O.N., and she has presented her work in seven countries.

Affiliated Faculty

Virginia Bartlett, PhD
Stuart Finder, PhD
Leo A. Gordon, MD
Andy Kondrat, PhD
Monique Kornell, PhD

Monique Kornell, PhD, is an art historian specializing in the history of anatomical illustration and the study of anatomy by artists. Her doctorate in combined historical studies is from the Warburg Institute, University of London, and her master's in history of art is from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Kornell has held research fellowships at the Wellcome Library in London and at UCLA. She has published articles on anatomical drawings and prints and illustrated anatomy books from the 16th-18th centuries, with a particular interest in anatomy books for artists. 

Kornell was a co-curator of The Ingenious Machine of Nature: Four Centuries of Art and Anatomy, a major exhibition of prints and drawings organized by the National Gallery of Canada in 1996. She is currently curating Under the Skin: The Art of Anatomy, an exhibition to be held from May 18 to Oct. 3, 2021, at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

Michael Nurok, MD
Franklin G. Strauss, MD

Strauss received his BA from Columbia University and his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has served as clinical chief, Department of Medicine (1995-1998) and as a member of the Medical Executive Committee (1995-2000). He retired from his nephrology and internal medicine practice in 2014 and is now on the emeritus staff. Having published on the topics of renal transplantation, peritoneal dialysis and the history of medicine, Strauss’ current research interests include the history of Bright’s disease and the dynamic character of 19th-century U.S. medicine, with a focus on the development of medical education as well as explorations of racism and ethnic bias.

Michele Tagliati, MD

Visiting Faculty

Stephen N. Joffe, MD

Stephen N. Joffe, BSc, MBBCh, MD, FACS, FCS (SA), FRCS (Edinburgh), FRCS (Glasgow), FACG, is an Esteemed Quondam Professor of Surgery and Medicine at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a position he has held since 1990. Previously from 1980 he was a full-time tenured Professor of Surgery and Medicine and Divisional Director of Gastro-Intestinal and Endocrine Surgery.

Stephen has held faculty appointments at the Universities of London, Glasgow, and holds fellowships of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Glasgow and the South African College of Surgeons.

He is a member or fellow, past and current, of 80 societies, has published over 190 articles in peer-reviewed and scientific journals and 40 chapters for books, including being author and editor of nine books on lasers and their application to medicine and surgery, and two books on the anatomist, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) and is a book collector of early anatomists.

He was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of LCA-Vision. Nasdaq: (LCAV). He was also the founder of the company’s corporate predecessor, Laser Centers of America, Inc. and served as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

Have Questions or Need Help?

Contact us if you have questions or would like additional information about the History of Medicine Program.

Kirsten Moore-Sheeley