Doctoral Students

Kristen Brady

Kristen received her BA in History with a minor in Pre-Modern and Ancient World Studies from Wittenberg University. During her BA she spent a semester at Kings College, London, where she researched for her thesis on gender and social networks in sixteenth-century London. She received an MS in History at Utah State University. Her master’s thesis, “A Wondrous Hairy Disease: Reproductive System Cancer in Early-Modern Autopsy,” was part of a collaborative project alongside a philologist and geneticist. Kristen is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches, and works alongside scientists and physicians whenever possible. Broadly, she is interested in diagnostic uncertainty, disability, and patient identity. Her current research moves into the twentieth century to consider the role of nosology and medical narratives in physician-patient encounters. She aims to center her work around the experiences of patients with chronic and genetic disorders, with recent projects focusing on cystic fibrosis.

Kristin Brig

Kristin received a BA in history in 2015 as well as an MA in history in 2017 from the College of Charleston. Her past research has explored the history of smallpox vaccination in the nineteenth-century British Empire with a particular interest in how vaccine production, distribution, and implementation affected relationships at local, colonial, and global levels. She is currently interested in clean water supply and access in the nineteenth-century Cape Colony and Natal, especially the intersection of water shortages, contamination, and social/cultural tensions in port cities. She is more broadly interested in the racial and class dynamics of public health in British Africa.

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.

Kloe Freeman

Kloe received her BS in Biology with a minor in Latin American Studies from Samford University in 2018. In her BS, she spent equal time engaged with the humanities  because of her minor, which led her to history of medicine as a way to merge both passions. Prior to beginning at Johns Hopkins, she worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital in the Gastrointestinal Surgery department in clinical trials research. While there, she also worked on health disparities and outcomes projects concerning health literacy, as well as enhanced recovery (ERAS) protocols. Researching, and seeing, health disparities through health literacy at the clinical level and its connection to racial disparities in surgical outcomes inspired her current research. Broadly speaking, she is interested in the history of health disparities for minority groups, the patient-physician relationship, and the influences race, gender, and paternalism have on these subjects.

Michael Healey

Michael received his BA in biology and public health from the University of Rochester in 2016 as part of their early medical scholars program. After matriculating into medical school, he became increasingly interested in health policy and the medical humanities, and eventually decided to take leave to study the history of medicine. Broadly speaking, Michael is interested in how the evolution of psychiatric nosology reflects broader philosophical and sociopolitical trends. He is currently studying the intellectual history of dementia praecox and schizophrenia, focusing on how Adolf Meyer and his colleagues adapted these diagnostic categories to promote various changes in psychiatric theory and practice. After completing his PhD, Michael will return to Rochester to finish his undergraduate medical education and apply to residencies in psychiatry. Ultimately, he hopes that his historical research will inform both his clinical work and political advocacy.

Jessica Hester

Jessica received a B.A. in English and gender studies from the University of Chicago and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Hunter College. A professional journalist mainly focused on science, her work has appeared in The Atlantic, New Yorker, New York Times, Atlas Obscura, and more. Her first book, about what sewers reveal about life on the surface, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2022. Jessica entered the doctoral program in 2021. She has ongoing research interests in photography and medical imaging technologies, including how patients have used self-portraiture to navigate the doctor-patient relationship during cancer treatment and jostle for control over imaging and describing their bodies. At Hopkins, she is broadly interested in exploring the interplay of race, class, and gender in 19th-century American anatomy museums and medical education. She hopes to focus on shifting practices around collecting, dissecting, displaying, interpreting, and deaccessioning or returning medical specimens made from human remains from the mid-1800s to the present day.

Maya Koretzky

Maya Overby Koretzky earned a BA in history from Cornell University in 2013. Maya’s undergraduate work focused on the cultural and intellectual history of late 19th and early 20th century Russia with a particular emphasis on the history of neurobiology. Before coming to Hopkins Maya served as a fellow in the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. At Hopkins, Maya is pursing an MD/PhD dual degree and hopes to specialize in Neurology. Maya’s research interests have ranged from the history of race and organ transplantation to the early history of HIV, to a dissertation project on public hospital medicine and the history of Charity Hospital in New Orleans in the 19th Century.

twitter: @koretzkymaya

Alexander Parry

Alex received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.A. from the Literary and Cultural Studies program at the University of Oklahoma. His previous research analyzed how the domestic reformer Catharine Beecher combined religion and physiology to provide health advice for nineteenth-century American women. He has also examined how the turn-of-the-twentieth-century field of household bacteriology enabled housewives to test their homes and communities for microbes using kitchen equipment. As he prepares for his dissertation, Alex hopes to explore the relationships between risk, domestic space, and the family. His other interests include public health, home economics, natural theology, children’s literature, and the history of capitalism.

Anna Weerasinghe

Anna Weerasinghe received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Princeton University in 2011 and a Master of Theological Studies degree in History of Christianity from Harvard Divinity School in 2014. Prior to beginning graduate studies at Johns Hopkins, she worked as a research fellow at the Center for Talent Innovation. Her dissertation investigates the practice and regulation of healing by and for women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Portuguese India in order to ask how gender influenced contact between plural medical cultures in early modern colonial contexts.

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.