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. Kirsten Ostherr

Sep 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

Kirsten Ostherr, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Kirsten Ostherr, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Ostherr will be in residence from September 2011 through December 2011.

Dr. Ostherr is Associate Professor of English at Rice University in Houston, TX, where she teaches film and media studies, with a special emphasis on historical and contemporary representations of health and disease in photography, film, television, animation, advertising, and medical imaging. She is also a Fellow in The John P. McGovern, M.D. Center for Humanities and Ethics, at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX.

Dr. Ostherr’s most recent work focuses on networked patients and hospitals, social media and health movements, and the age of bioinformatics. She is author of Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005), and during her time at the Institute for Medical Humanities, she will be completing Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies  (Oxford). Ostherr has recently published or has forthcoming articles on medical animation in the 1920s, health education films of the postwar period, narrative medicine and biocultures, ethical issues in the film Philadelphia, and corporate publicity films. She has also published on art film, documentary, and science fiction film. Professor Ostherr lectures widely and has recently given invited talks in Geneva, Chicago, San Diego, Galveston, Houston, Philadelphia, and New York. Her work has been supported by a variety of grants and fellowships.

Dr. Ostherr is currently developing the Medical Futures Initiative, an institute for training the medical media innovators of the future through creative, hands-on critical thinking and design. This project will foster a creative environment for imagining what the future of medicine should be; create media and other tools for improving healthcare and medical education; and teach pre-med students to think analytically and historically about medicine, science, and technology. A cornerstone of Medical Futures is “Project TMC,” a pilot program that joins Rice undergraduates with Texas Medical Center physician-researchers to develop videos and other communications media that translate their work for patients and the wider health community. Kirsten looks forward to discussing this project and her research with the UTMB Institute for the Medical Humanities community.