Visiting Scholar Announcements

Taylor, Wendell

Meet Dr. Wendell Taylor

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wendell C. Taylor, Visiting Scholar in the Institute for the Medical Humanities, Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. The objectives of his current research proposal are to present a comprehensive overview and analysis of ethics related to hiring practices and workplace interventions for people who smoke or are obese. His research interests are physical activity, workplace health promotion, health equity, and health behaviors in high priority populations.

Dr. Taylor was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant titled, Booster Breaks: A 21st Century Innovation to Improve Worker Health and Productivity. This study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial of health promoting breaks in the workplace and assessed physical, psychological, and organizational-level outcomes. There are more than 16 peer-reviewed publications related to the Booster Break concept and interventions.

Dr. Taylor received his AB from Grinnell College, MS in Psychology from Eastern Washington University, PhD in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and his MPH from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. In addition, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Community Health at the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His previous positions include tenured Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, and Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Cizik School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet Dr. Minji LeeMinji Lee

Dr. Minji Lee recently received a PhD Degree in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Her PhD thesis, “Bodies of Medieval Women as Dangerous, Liminal, and Holy: Representations in the Writings of Late Medieval Religious Women” explored how this medieval German nun defended the woman’s sexual/reproductive body” as positive in the images of re-creation and salvation against misogynic medieval and religious culture of her age.

Granted that Dr. Lee is a medievalist interested in the interactions between mysticism and medicine in the Middle Ages, she now turns to the new research project to compare medieval European medical theories and modern Korean folk medicine in order to see how women have been striving to maintain their reproductive health and to bring positive meanings to their own bodies. She also participated in making a Korean independent documentary project “For Vagina’s Sake (2017)” to posit how Western pre-modern medicine “diabolized” women’s menstrual body.

Currently, she is also a volunteer at Reunion Institute to promote public awareness in religion.

UPREET DHALIWALMeet Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Upreet Dhaliwal, MS as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Dhaliwal will be in residence from February 2019 through May 2019.

Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal, formerly Director-Professor of Ophthalmology at the University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, is one of the founding members of the Medical Humanities Group in the Institution.

She is editor of the journal “Research and Humanities in Medical Education (RHiME)” which is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the only journal in Asia that caters specifically to the medical humanities. RHiME can be accessed at

An occasional poet, and an avid promoter of medical student-led poetry sessions, Dr Dhaliwal is keen to deepen her involvement with the humanities through the visiting scholar program at the Institute for Medical Humanities. Her work here involves an exploration of the Provider-Patient relationship through the medium of poetry.

  • Meet Dr. Leslie Griffin

    August 1, 2018, 16:11 PM by Julia Essex

    Leslie C. Griffin, MA, MPhil, PhD, JDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Leslie C. Griffin, MA, MPhil, PhD, JD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Griffin will be in residence from August 2018 through April 2019.

    Dr. Griffin is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law. Dr. Griffin teaches constitutional law and is known for her interdisciplinary work in law and religion.

    She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University and a JD from Stanford Law School. She is author of the Foundation Press casebooks, Law and Religion: Cases and Materials (4th edition, 2017) and Practicing Bioethics Law (2015), which was co-authored with Joan H. Krause, Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

  • Meet Dr. M. Murat Civaner

    July 1, 2018, 10:55 AM by Julia Essex

    M. Murat Civaner, PhD, MDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome M. Murat Civaner, PhD, MD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Civaner will be in residence from July 2018 through August 2018.

    Dr. Civaner is a 1992 graduate of the Uludag University School of Medicine. He earned a PhD in ‘Public Health’ from Dokuz Eylul University in 1999 and a PhD in ‘Medical Ethics and History of Medicine’ from Ankara University in 2006. 

    Dr. Civaner is currently a professor of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at Uludag University School of Medicine in Bursa, Turkey. His professional duties include teaching, ethics consultation, and research. He teaches medical ethics and history of medicine to undergraduate medical students, as well as master's and PhD candidates. He also teaches research ethics to future researchers. 

    Dr. Civaner is a member of the Patient Rights Committee of Uludag University Centre for Health, Practice and Research, which handles patient complaints weekly. He also works in the Hospital Ethics Committee, established for case review, guideline development, and training physicians.

    In 2017 Dr. Civaner was awarded the Hans-Joachim Schwager - Prize for Clinical Ethics in recognition of his efforts to develop a clinical ethics consultation service and a Hospital Ethics Committee at Uludag University Centre for Health, Practice and Research.

  • Meet Dr. Matthis Krischel

    March 1, 2018, 11:55 AM by Julia Essex

    Matthis Krischel, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is please to welcome Matthis Krischel, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Krischel will be in residence from March 2018 through June 2018.

    Dr. Krischel earned a Master of Arts in the history of science from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 and a doctorate in history and the philosophy of medicine from Ulm University in Germany in 2013.

    Dr. Krischel's research focuses on the history of medicine and the life sciences in the 19th and 20th century. He has published articles on the history of Nazi medicine and its commemoration, the history of eugenics and human genetics, the history of urology and narrative bioethics.

    As a Visiting Scholar, Dr. Krischel will study the history and reception of hypothermia experiments performed at Dachau Nazi concentration camp in 1942/1943. He is especially interested in determining if, while clearly unethical, these experiments were performed to internationally recognized scientific standards of the time.

  • Meet Dr. Diane B. Paul

    January 1, 2018, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Diane B. Paul, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Diane B. Paul, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Paul will be in residence from January 2018 through March 2018.

    Diane B. Paul is Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Research Associate in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Since 2004, when she retired from UMass Boston, she has held visiting teaching appointments at the Center for Society and Genetics at UCLA and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and research appointments at the University of British Columbia, the Harvard Medical School Program in Ethics and Health, the Vrige University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Science and Innovation Unit at the University of Edinburgh, and the Zoology Department at the University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ.

    Dr. Paul's research has primarily focused on the histories of evolution and genetics, especially in relation to eugenics and the nature-nurture debate. She has also published policy-oriented work on controversies over cousin marriage and on contemporary prenatal and neonatal genetic testing. Her books include Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present (Humanities/Random House, 1995), The Politics of Heredity: Essays on Eugenics, Biomedicine, and the Nature-Nurture Debate (SUNY Press, 1998), The PKU Paradox: A Short History of a Genetic Disease (with Jeffrey P. Brosco, MD; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), and, most recently, Eugenics at the Edges of Empire: New Zealand, Australia, Canada and South Africa (co-edited by John Stenhouse and Hamish G. Spencer; Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

    During her residency as a Visiting Scholar, Dr. Paul hopes to make progress on her major current project: “The Quest for Objectivity in Prenatal Genetic Care: Conundrums of the ‘Pro-Information’ Movement.”

  • Meet Dr. William Ventres

    February 1, 2017, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex
    The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome William Ventres, MD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Ventres will be in residence from February 2017 through May 2017.
  • Meet Dr. Jonathan Vanderhoek

    September 1, 2016, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Jonathan Vanderhoek, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Jonathan Vanderhoek, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Vanderhoek will be in residence from September 2016 through November 2016.

    Dr. Vanderhoek earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Dr. Vanderhoek is an Instructor of Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics at Selkirk College. his areas of specialization include normative ethics, moral psychology, and clinical ethics.

    As a Visiting Scholar, Dr. Vanderhoek will be working on a project that explores the relationship between empathy and moral agency in the clinical context. He will focus on three topics in particular: 1) how empathy can help providers to understand their patients’ evaluative and emotional attitudes in response to delivered prognoses, 2) how empathy influences providers motivational sets, and 3) how implicit biases impact the reliability of empathy as resource for understanding patients. In addition to this research, he will spend time working with and learning from the Clinical Ethics team.

  • Meet Dr. Fionagh Thomson

    June 1, 2016, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

    Fionagh Thomson, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Fionagh Thomson, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Thomson will be in residence from June 1, 2016 through November 30, 2016.

    Dr. Thomson is an ethnographer with an interest in how to create the space and time with participants to think through and describe their everyday lives: focusing on what people do rather than what they think they do. She works with video, camera, paper and conversation. She likes to work across, rather than within, disciplines and outside academia with medical professionals, lab scientists, design engineers and artists. 

    Dr. Thomson's current research explores the conflict within the blood supply chain (donation to transfusion)—between ensuring a sufficient and a safe supply of blood components, at a time when donor numbers are dropping and blood manufacturing regulations are tightening. Her other interests include different representations of the ‘body’ in medical spaces (e.g. MRIs), the extension of health professionals’ senses through tools/technologies and philosophical hermeneutics (Gadamer, Ricoeur & Idhe). 

    Dr. Thomson earned a Master of Science from the University of Edinburgh, a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, and a Doctorate from the University College London Institute of Education. Her background includes environmental ethics, visual anthropology, philosophy, human geography and ecology. Dr. Thomson has completed fieldwork in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, the islands of the Scottish Hebrides and the consulting spaces of emergency departments, breast cancer outpatients, GP clinics and patients’ homes.

  • Meet Dr. Browne Lewis

    September 1, 2015, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex
    The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Browne C. Lewis, MPA, JD, LLM as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Lewis will be in residence from September 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015.