Doctoral Students

Richard Adjei

Richard joined the PhD programme in the History of Medicine in 2022. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, and a Master of Science Degree in African Studies from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, earning them in 2017 and 2020, respectively. His undergraduate and master’s dissertations focused on the history of medical pluralism and medical systems in Ghana, where he studied the history of traditional medicine, particularly its relationship with the State and interactions with Western biomedicine. For his PhD, Richard is researching on the nexus between social change and the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases in Ghana, focusing on stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. He is also interested in the political economy of health and diseases in West in Africa.

Leigh Alon

Leigh is an MD/PhD student at Johns Hopkins University in the department of the history of medicine. She has a B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago and before attending graduate school worked in HIV prevention at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. She is interested broadly in human subject research, pediatric psychopharmacology, eugenics, genomics, identity formation, and Jewish genetics.

Carter Barnett

Carter studies the history of medical institutions in the 19th/20th-century Middle East. He received his BA in History and Arabic from Baylor University and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2022, he joined the History of Medicine doctoral program. His MA thesis examined the ambivalent interaction between missionary medicine and Palestinian society, politics and law. His present research takes interest in the history of (post)colonial medical institutions in the Middle East, focusing on the intersections between religion, international health organizations and changing medical practices.

Emily Clark

Emily received her B.A. in History from the University of Arizona in 2015 before joining the History of Medicine doctoral program at Johns Hopkins in 2016. She specializes in the study of women, gender, and sexuality in the early modern Atlantic world, with a focus on reproductive and racialized medicine. Her dissertation examines the working and intimate lives of enslaved, poor, and servant women in colonial New England, incorporating histories of the body, labor, sexuality, and race.

Sofia Grant

Sofia joined the History of Medicine PhD program in Fall 2023. She is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and received a B.A. in Anthropology, Humanities, and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she wrote an honors thesis that combined perspectives from anthropology and narratology to analyze the portrayal of diagnosis on two medical shows. Sofia is interested in a variety of topics in the history of medicine, but plans to specialize in the study of twentieth-century American biomedicine. Some of her current research interests include the history of diagnosis, autoimmune diseases, chronic and contested illnesses, doctor-patient relationships, illness narratives, and the intersections between the history of medicine, medical anthropology, and STS.

Yemok Jeon

Yemok’s research examines the pivotal role of health in Cold War national security within transpacific regions. Holding B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from Hanyang University in South Korea, he investigates global health dynamics across the conventional borders of the “Communist Camp” and the “Free World,” encompassing topics such as health insurance, biological warfare, and atomic bomb casualties at both elite and grassroots levels.

His research interests have been shaped by his transpacific experiences. In Korea, with funding from the National Health Insurance Service in Korea, he researched the history of health insurance and public hospitals at the Preventive Medicine Department of the College of Medicine in Hanyang. In the U.S., he proposed global health policies concerning North Korea as a Korea Foundation Junior Scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., financially backed by the KF.

Yemok actively engages with the public through educational and creative projects, including appearances on historical TV shows and the production of Hip-Hop rap music.

SJ Zanolini

SJ Zanolini specializes in both the history and practice of Chinese medicine. They earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Chinese Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an M.S. in East Asian Medicine from Dongguk University at Los Angeles. Clinically, SJ resists narrow specialization while remaining most interested in conditions with varied symptomatology, periodicity, or that otherwise layer, or defy, biomedical explanation. Academically, their research interests encompass the relationship between diet and healing in medical practice, geographic and seasonal determinants of health and illness treatment, and the interplay between medical, religious, elite, and popular ideas in Chinese history. Their master’s thesis used close reading to historically and intellectually situate a set of 7th century medical manuscripts preserved in the Silk Road town of Dunhuang, China. They are currently researching how newly introduced food crops become incorporated into existing understandings of the medicinal actions of foods in the 16th and 17th centuries.