Professor Megan Vaughan
Megan Vaughan was formerly Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society.
Megan Vaughan joined the Institute of Advanced Studies in
October 2015 as Professor of African History and Health. Her work, which
crosses disciplinary boundaries, has focused on the history of medicine and
psychiatry in Africa, on the history of famine, food supply and gender
relations and on slavery in the Indian Ocean region. Most recently she held a
major AHRC award on the history of death and death practices in Eastern and
Southern Africa. She is now working on a Wellcome Trust-funded history of
epidemiological change in Africa, focusing on ‘chronic’ diseases. She began her
career at the University of Malawi and maintains strong links there and
elsewhere in the region. She is committed to working collaboratively with
African scholars and institutions and is a past President of the African
Studies Association of the UK.
Professor Vaughan holds a five-year Wellcome Trust
Investigator Award in Medical Humanities to research Chronic Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa: a critical history of an ‘Epidemiological
Transition’. The study is being carried out collaboratively with colleagues
in Ghana, South Africa and Malawi and aims to produce a clearer historical
analysis of the rise in incidence of non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan
Africa and a critical account of epidemiological change, contextualising this
within a larger environmental, economic and social history. This is an interdisciplinary project
involving public health experts, social epidemiologists, social psychologists,
historians and anthropologists. Among the issues we will be addressing are
changing nutrition, the incidence of diabetes mellitus, obesity and ‘metabolic
disorders’; the experience of co-morbidities; changing patterns of cancer in
Africa; environmental health, ‘exposures’ and the role of epigenetics; the
history of hypertension and heart disease and the relationship between
infectious and non-communicable diseases. We work closely with the University
of Ghana at Legon (Professor Ama de Graft Aikins, Vice-Dean of the School of Graduate
Studies); Professor Moffat Nyirenda,
Director of the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Unit, Lilongwe,
Malawi; Medical Humanities at Wits
Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), directed by Professor
Catherine Burns; and the Africa Centre for Population Health, Mtubatuba, South
Africa, directed by Professor Deenan Pillay.
Read more about the project here: http://www.chronicdiseaseafrica.org/.
Please direct any enquiries about this project to: email@example.com.