Skip to main content

Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology: People

Sandalia Genus

Sandalia Genus
Sandalia Genus
Social Anthropology
Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Medical Anthropology, Pharmaceuticals, Vaccination, Political Economy of Health, Malaria, Clinical Trials, Global Health, International development, Tanzania

The Social Lives and Afterlives of a Malaria Vaccine Trial: Partnerships in Practice

My doctoral thesis focuses on the development of a malaria vaccine as an avenue to explore global health partnerships. In the last twenty years, public-private partnerships have become a prominent organizational form in global health. Analysts generally agree that partnerships are saving many lives and revolutionizing drug and vaccine development for infectious diseases. However, there is little known about the impacts of partnerships on the places where they operate. This raises the questions: How do global health partnerships operate in practice? What are their impacts in the places where they operate? Addressing these questions, this thesis examines a partnership established to develop the most advanced malaria vaccine, named RTS,S. Based on 17 months of ethnographic research in Tanzania and interviews with representatives of partnering organizations in Belgium and the United States, I explore the social relationships formed between private companies, philanthropic institutions and non-profit organizations in the North, and research institutions and communities in north-eastern Tanzania, where a malaria vaccine clinical trial was conducted. The focus on partnerships is intended to improve understanding about this ever-increasing social, political and economic formation in global health, and contributes to discussions and debates about how partnerships operate and their role in international development, global health governance and transnational medical research.

Past research (2008-2010) examined perspectives on and use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil amongst men and women in Canada.  This research uncovered the ways that pharmaceutical advertising, medical literature and health care practitioners communicate discourse that impacts identity formation and risk averting behaviours, including vaccine uptake.  This research was carried out with the financial support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Simon Fraser University.


Prof. James Smith

Dr. Alex Nading


2011-2018     University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
                                Ph.D., Social Anthropology.

2008-2010           Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
                                M.A., Social Anthropology.

                                Supervisors: Dr. Stacy Pigg and Dr. Susan Erikson.
                                Thesis: Why Gardasil? Understanding Decisions for Vaccination

2003-2008           University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                                 BSc., Anthropology and Archaeological Sciences, with honours.

Honours & Awards   

Teaching Award Nomination, University of Edinburgh, 2015

“Best Teaching in an Undergraduate Course”

Teaching Award Nominations, University of Edinburgh, 2015.
Best Overall Teacher Award” and “Best Student Who Tutors Award”.

Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University, 2010.

Social Science and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2009-2010

Teaching Experience


Undergraduate Dissertation Supervisor, 2016

University of Edinburgh, School of Biomedical Sciences


Health, Illness and Society 3, October 2015, "Gender and Sexuality", University of Edinburgh

Health, Illness and Society 3, September 2015, "Global Health: Inequalities and Interventions", University of Edinburgh

Society, Ethics and Medicine 4, October 2015, "Global Health: Inequalities and Interventions", University of Edinburgh

Anthropology and Contemporary Life, April 2010, "HPV, Biomedicine and Neoliberalism", Simon Fraser University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Undergraduate Tutoring

Teaching Fellowship, Health, Illness and Society 3, 2015-2016

School of Biomedical Sciences, University of  Edinburgh

Social Anthropology 1A and 1B, 2014-2015

Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

Anthropology and Contemporary Life, 2009, 2010

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology, 2008, 2009

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

Conferences & Seminars

CASCA/IUAES 2017. May 2017, University of Ottawa, Canada.  Title: "Moving Evidence: Tracing the Flow of Blood and Data in a Vaccine Clinical Trial"

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA).  July 2016, University of Durham, UK.  Title: “Hopes and Legacies: Medical Research and Development Aspirations at a Vaccine Trial Site in Tanzania”

Who Cares? A Symposium on Care in Medical Anthropology. May 2016, University of Edinburgh, UK.  Title: “What Does Care Do? Reflections on Care in Medical Research”

MAGic 2015, Anthropology and Global Health: Interrogating Theory, Policy and Practice, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, Sept 9-11, 2015.  Title: The Making of a Medicine: Tracing the History and Global Networks of a Malaria Vaccine.

The (Un)Healthy Body in Southern Africa: Disciplinary Approaches to Corporeal Dimensions of Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, April 2-3, 2012.  Awarded full funding from the organizing committee to attend and participate in the week long workshop.  Paper: The HPV Vaccine in Tanzania: Immunological Promise in an Unequal World?

Constructions of Risk Conference, University of British Colombia, February 17, 2011.  Paper: Risk Discourse and Decisions for HPV Vaccination.               

Work in Progress Conference, Simon Fraser University, June 2010.  Paper: Why Gardasil? Understanding Decisions for Vaccination.