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MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society


University Associate Professor in Global Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine

On leave 2024/25


I am an Associate Professor in Global Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine. My 2019 book, Mass Vaccination: Citizens' Bodies and State Power in Modern China, examines the history of mass immunization in twentieth-century China. It suggests that the origins of the vaccination policies that eradicated smallpox and controlled other infectious diseases in the 1950s, providing an important basis for the emergence of Chinese health policy as a model for global health, can be traced to research and development in southwest China during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

My research interests lie broadly in historical intersections of science, technology, and medicine in China and around the world. Current projects include a study of the Sino-French Institute in Lyon, a collaborative exploration of the history of transportation technologies with particular consideration for transnational histories of civil aviation, and the history of early penicillin development in China. I received my PhD in History from Yale and have taught at Tufts University.

At Cambridge, I am also an affiliated lecturer in East Asian Studies at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and an associate member of the World History Subject Group in the History Faculty, as well as a Trustee and Research Fellow of the Needham Research Institute. I am Director of Studies for HPS at Lucy Cavendish and St Catharine's Colleges. Additionally, I am a Council member of the British Association of Chinese Studies and the British Society for the History of Science.

Mary Brazelton on the HPS Department website


Global studies of science and medicine; history of medicine and the life sciences in modern China; 20th-century biomedicine; history of international and global health.


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