Marissa Mika

Doctoral Candidate
Entered 2008
M.H.S. in International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
B.A. in Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Contact Information
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Teaching Fields: 

African History, with an emphasis on East Africa, Gender and Livelihood, Health and Healing

History and Anthropology of Medicine, with an emphasis on Global Health, Hospital Histories, Cancer, and Medical Research

Research Interests: 

My dissertation is tentatively titled “Surviving Experiments: Cancer Research in Uganda 1950s to the Present.” It is a historical ethnography of how research initiatives on cancer created a fragile but longstanding culture of experimental oncology in Uganda. I trace how the Uganda Cancer Institute, a small combination chemotherapy research enclave sponsored by the American National Cancer Institute in the 1960s, is being refashioned into a space of public oncology in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. My work theorizes how experiments create and shape cultures of care that take on a political and social life of their own, well after the experiments themselves have ended.

My research in the United States, Uganda, and Europe is supported by an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council (2011), a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant from the Wenner Grenn Foundation (2012), and a Penfield Dissertation Research Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania (2011). I am currently a visiting student at the University of California, Berkeley at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society. 

Other research interests include technologies of mobility, the history of medical waste, and the problem of medical "brain drain" from sub-Saharan Africa.