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Ted Fischer, Ph.D., project co-director

Edward (Ted) Fischer is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology,  at Vanderbilt University, where he also hold appointments in Management and Health Policy. He is the founder of Maní+, an award-winning social enterprise in Guatemala that develops and produces locally sourced foods to fight malnutrition. Fischer advises the WHO-Europe on the cultural contexts of health, and serves on the board of the Maya Education Foundation. His research focuses on issues of political economy, values, wellbeing, and development.


T.S. Harvey, Ph.D., project co-director

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University

Trained in medical and linguistic anthropology, Dr. Harvey’s research focuses on building local collaborations to collaboratively tackle global public health challenges. He has written on cross-cultural doctor-patient communication, language and culture in global public health, enteric illnesses, prescription drug non-adherence, risk reduction, crisis communication, cultural and linguistic determinants of health, and other topics. He is currently completing a book on lessons from global health that can be expanded to new contexts.


Tatiana Paz Lemus, Ph.D., project manager

Dr. Tatiana Paz Lemus is the program manager for the project. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Vanderbilt University and currently resides in Guatemala City. Her research focuses on well-being, agency, and indigenous youth’s lives in rural Guatemala. She is an advisor and senior consultant at Population Council Guatemala and teaches anthropological research at different universities in her home country.





Jonathan Metzl, M.D., Ph.D.

Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry

Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt

Professor Metzl has written extensively for medical, psychiatric, and popular publications. His books include Prozac on the CouchAgainst Health: How Health Became the New Morality, and, most recently, Dying of Whiteness. With advanced degrees in both medicine and American Studies, Metzl’s work looks at the structural, cultural, and symbolic aspects of health. He is a frequent contributor to television, radio, and other media outlets, and a recognized expert on gun violence as a public health epidemic.

Velma McBride Murry, Ph.D.

University Professor of Human Development, Medicine, and Health Policy, Vanderbilt

Dr. McBride Murry has conducted research on African-American parents and youth to identify social and contextual determinants of health as well as malleable protective factors that deter emotional problems and risk engagement. Her overarching goal is to disseminate evidence-based preventive intervention programs for uptake in community-based organizations, as well as schools and primary health care settings and in faith-based organizations, and examine their efficacy and effectiveness in real-world settings.


David Napier, Ph.D.

Professor of Medical Anthropology, University College London

David Napier is Professor of Medical Anthropology at University College London (UCL) and Director of its Science, Medicine, and Society Network. Napier’s special interests include migration, culture and health, non-communicable diseases, xenophobia, primary health-care delivery, social vulnerability, homelessness, and human wellbeing. He regularly writes for the press and was lead author of a recent WHO policy study of the cultural contexts of health and wellbeing (Culture Matters: Using a Cultural Contexts of Health Approach to Enhance Policy-making). Napier is also the Global Academic Lead for Cities Changing Diabetes, a policy-directed project that focuses on the complex drivers of diabetes in cities around the world.