AIHP Awards 2021 PhD Research Support Grants

2021 AIHP PhD Research Grant Recipients

AIHP Historical Director Dr. Lucas Richert has announced the awarding of two AIHP PhD Research Support Grants for 2021 to Miriam F. Lipton, a PhD candidate at Oregon State University, and to Taylor Serota Bell, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. Each received $2,000 to fund continued research for their dissertations.

Ms. Lipton is writing her dissertation currently entitled “Bacteriophages and Antibiotics: The History of Cold War Politics of Antibiotic Resistance,” and Ms. Bell is writing her dissertation currently entitled “Pharmaceutical Austerity and the Mobilization of Social Networks.”

The AIHP PhD Research Support Grant Program is designed to provide financial support for doctoral students pursuing academic research related to the broadly defined history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. The Program offers grants up to $2,000 to cover research expenses not normally covered by the student’s university. Recipients of the grant must provide a report to AIHP on the research within one year after receiving the grant money. Grant recipients must also agree to submit a paper based on their thesis project or dissertation for consideration for publication in AIHP’s journal, History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals, within two years of receiving the grant.

Miriam F. Lipton’s Research

Miriam Lipton’s dissertation explores the topic of “Bacteriophages and Antibiotics:  The History of Cold War Politics of Antibiotic Resistance.” When the scientific community recognized that bacteria was becoming resistant to antibiotics in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union were seemingly poised to work cooperatively to combat the issue. Instead, scientists in each nation pursued different strategies for dealing with the problem. Scientists in the US focused on developing new antibiotics to combat resistant bacteria. Soviet scientists, in contrast, turned to increased use of bacteriophages (bacterial-eating viruses) to treat bacterial infections. Ms. Lipton’s research seeks to understand how antibiotic resistance was understood by scientists in the Soviet Union and in the US amidst the backdrop of the Cold War, and how the politics of the Cold War may have affected the way that the global health crisis of resistance was handled. 

Ms. Lipton plans to use her grant to pursue research at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City (which has an extensive archive of Soviet scientific journals) and at AIHP.

Taylor Serota Bell’s Research

Taylor Serota Bell’s dissertation, “Pharmaceutical Austerity and the Mobilization of Social Networks,” explores how 2010 austerity-driven legislation in Greece—which drastically defunded the country’s healthcare system—has affected pharmaceutical access in Greece. One component of her research is focused on how pharmacists and patients collaborate to challenge resulting barriers to pharmaceutical access. To gain insight into these forms of collaboration, Ms. Bell is seeking to create a digitized archive of “tefteri”, which are essentially notebooks that Greek pharmacists commonly use to record prescriptions and their interactions with patients. Ms. Bell believes that close examination of the tefteri, coupled with conducting oral histories of participating pharmacists, will offer insights into the way pharmacists and patients navigate pharmaceutical care in an austerity environment.

Ms. Bell will use her AIHP grant to cover travel costs to Greece to continue her research.

AIHP has awarded more than 60 PhD research support grants since 1985. Information about the AIHP PhD Research Support Grant Program and past recipients of the grant are available on the Institute’s webpage.

Congratulations to the 2021 AIHP PhD Research Grant Recipients!

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AIHP COVID-19 ProjectThe American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is documenting and preserving pharmacy stories and experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic for the benefit of future historians and scholars. We seek to record the effects of this public health emergency on all types of pharmacy experiences. We invite you to share your pharmacy stories, photos, videos, artifacts, and other documentation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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