Integrated Group of Social Scientists, Humanities and Medicine



Claire Edington, Assistant Professor, History, 

Faculty Group Members:

Janis H. Jenkins, Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry

Steve Koh, Assistant Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Cinnamon Bloss, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Maria Marquine, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Reema Sanghvi, Associate Clinical Professor, Anesthesiology

Saiba Varma, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Joseph Vinetz, Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine


We are a group of faculty from three divisions at UCSD: Humanities, Social Sciences and the School of Medicine. As a group, our research interests span chronic and infectious diseases as well as diverse regions of the world, including Latin, Central, South, and North America; Eastern Europe; and Central, Southeast, and South Asia.

We hold a series of roundtables on campus in and around the themes of global health research, in which we will brainstorm integrative approaches to global health which bring together both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

The purpose of these roundtables are threefold: first, to facilitate faculty-faculty collaborations across divisions and disciplines that are not normally in conversation with each other in order to address pressing problems in international health. Second, through sustained engagement with global health projects outside our own disciplinary fields, we hope to develop more collaborative research projects. As an exploratory group, our goal is to think about how we can develop collaborations across campus and deepen our existing research projects with expertise from different disciplines. We hope that these roundtables and sets of conversations can lead to developing new, multidisciplinary grants/research projects for which we will seek external funding from the National Science Foundation and/or Gates Foundation that brings together both qualitative and quantitative expertise. Third, we hope to facilitate more faculty-student dialogues on campus and build interest in global health research at the undergraduate level. In Roundtable 3, we will host a research symposium for undergraduate students enrolled in the Global Health Capstone course to present their work to a broad, multidisciplinary public (Roundtable 3).

We envision these roundtables as spaces to share our diverse expertise with each other, as well as providing a pipeline for future mixed-methods collaborations and research opportunities. Each roundtable is focused on an urgent issue in global health research:

 Roundtable 1: New approaches to interdisciplinary and mixed methods global health research (Fall 2017)

In this roundtable, we will explore questions such as: what are new and innovative approaches to multidisciplinary/mixed methods research in biomedicine and the social sciences? How do you set up collaborative, international research projects? How do we translate research into policy?

Point persons: Joseph Vinetz (external guest speaker from Sri Lanka) and Reema Sanghvi (Tim Mackey, global health policy expert).       

Roundtable 2: Culture and Mental Health (Winter 2017)

This roundtable will explore culture-specific manifestations of PTSD and will interrogate the ideas of somatization, as well as how impediments to seeking care are currently understood in both biomedical and social science research. We will draw on expertise from scholars engaged in mental health care with refugee communities in San Diego (Steve Koh), as well as think about “somatization” and how it is constructed as an impediment to health globally (Claire Edington and Saiba Varma). Refugee communities in San Diego are underserved and often have history of severe trauma which they manifest in different ways. Dominant cultural norms in American medicine as practiced may not adequately serve these vulnerable population. How the refugee communities conceptualize their mental health within a foreign environment will be explored and guide our discussions on improving our approach within the US and beyond. 

Roundtable 3: Global Health Capstone Student Presentations (Spring 2018)

For the third roundtable, we will invite 5 undergraduate global health majors who are enrolled in the Global Health major Capstone course to present their research to our group. This event allows us to harness the energy and creativity of undergraduate students who are interested in doing international health research and support their further development. We will provide a $1000 award to the best presentation as research support for them to return to their fieldsite and deepen their research, with the goal of leading to publication.

Faculty Groups