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. Joan Paluzzi

Jul 1, 2012, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

Joan Paluzzi, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Joan Paluzzi, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Paluzzi will be in residence from July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2012.

Dr. Paluzzi is a medical anthropologist with over twenty years of experience in critical care nursing prior to returning to school for her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.  After completing her degree, she worked with the internationally respected NGO, Partners In Health based in Boston where, in addition to her engagement with the work of PIH, she also served as a Senior Fellow and administrative coordinator of the largest task Force within the United Nations Millennium Project: the Task Force on HIV, TB, Malaria and Access to Essential Medicines (PIH served as the sub-Secretariat for the task force.) The project established the Millennium Development Goals and developed the indicators to measure progress towards their attainment which continue to be widely used in international health and development. She served as one of the lead authors on two of the final reports (Tuberculosis and Access to Medicines).  Following the completion of the Millennium Project, Dr. Paluzzi taught cultural and medical anthropology for six years at a university in North Carolina. From 2002 to 2006 she also served as a member of the Advocacy, Communications, and Social Mobilization Working Group within STOP TB, based at WHO in Geneva.

Dr. Paluzzi’s research and publications address various topics all of which deal with the related themes of access to health services and medicines, local-to-global health and healthcare disparities and social justice. Her dissertation research, funded by Fulbright explored the experience of tuberculosis in southern Chile and its intersections with economic inequalities and the ongoing privatization of the Chilean health system.  In addition to her work in Chile, she has done fieldwork in Venezuela that examined the rapid scale-up of their free, public health primary care system and in North Carolina where she examined systems of healthcare recourse for immigrants in the Piedmont Triad. Recent publications have explored the ethical dimensions and relational dynamics that characterize multinational pharmaceutical industry practices.

While at the Institute, she will complete a book project, Tuberculosis and the Consumption of People that moves beyond conventional attributions to poverty (where most discussions of the social determinants of TB begin and end) to identify the ‘causes of the causes’: the larger socio-economic contexts in which TB occurs and the forces that have shaped them. Crossing time and space, the book utilizes specific case studies to situate tuberculosis as the axis joining human experience during three distinct eras, in three distinct locations and within societal contexts dominated by three distinct socio-economic institutions: slavery and segregation (United States), imperial colonialism (American Samoa), and neoliberalism (Chile).  This book illustrates lives lived within personal and social environments that have been constrained, at times violated, by these State-sanctioned, socially-enforced socio-economic institutions and in doing so, clearly demonstrates the fundamentally social roots of health and illness.