Keith A. Wailoo
Keith Wailoo (keithwailoo.com) is jointly appointed in the Department of History and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research and teaching straddles history and health policy, examining changing disease concepts, medical and public health practices, drug trends and controversies, and social and cultural meanings of health in the U.S.
Professor Wailoo's acclaimed books in health, scientific and technological innovation, medical specialization, and the role of identity, gender, race and ethnicity in health include:
- Pain: A Political History (Johns Hopkins, 2015)
- How Cancer Crossed the Color Line (Oxford University Press, 2011)
- The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine: Ethnicity and Innovation in Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) which received the Association of American Publishers book award in History of Science.
- Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health (University of North Carolina, 2001) received multiple honors, including the Lillian Smith Book Award for Non-Fiction work elucidating questions of racial justice and inequality, the William H. Welch Medal for best book in the history of medicine, awarded by the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Susanne Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, the American Political Science Association Award for Best Book published in the area of Public Policies, Social and Legal Dimensions of Ethnic and Racial Politics in the U.S., and the Community Service Award by the Sickle Cell/Thalassemia Patient Network.
- Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth Century America (Hopkins, 1997) which received the Arthur Viseltear Award from the American Public Health Association.
Before joining the Princeton faculty, Professor Wailoo taught in History and in Social Medicine (in the Medical School at UNC Chapel Hill), and at Rutgers University where he was affiliated with History and with the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. He holds a Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from Yale University.
Recipient of numerous honors, in 2007 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine).
History Informing Health Policy
Wailoo’s work has shaped public understanding and informed health care policy on pressing concerns from vaccination to genetics, and from drug policy to immigrant health and racial health disparities.
His other work in this arena includes:
- A Death Retold: Jesica Santillan, the Bungled Transplant, and Paradoxes of Medical Citizenship (UNC Press, 2006), a multi-disciplinary analysis of an infamous medical error leading to the death of an undocumented immigrant girl at Duke University Medical Center in 2003.
- Katrina’s Imprint: Race and Vulnerability in America (Rutgers University Press, 2010), a study of what the events in New Orleans reveal about the nature of vulnerability, resilience, and recovery.
- Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), an examination of the cultural, scientific, and political turmoil that has emerged recently around the marketing, use, mandating of Human Papillomavirus vaccines for girls–in the name of cervical cancer prevention.
- Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming) which examines the implications of new genetics for reshaping ideas about race and the past, as manifested in medicine, in the courts, and in the genealogy business.
- In 2005-6, he served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Increasing Rates of Organ Donation, contributing to its report, Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action (2006).
- In 2015-16, he serves on the Institute of Medicine Committee to advise the Food and Drug Administration on Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations (forthcoming report, 2016).
Wailoo has published articles in the British medical journal Lancet, in the Bulletin for the History of Medicine, in the Journal for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. His research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund.
He has served on the advisory board of the Center for Health Care Strategies; the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Investigator Award in Health Policy Research and the RWJ Foundation’s Health and Society program; the Health Sciences Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine; and the advisory board of the Greenwall Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Program.
Professor Wailoo is currently at work on two books: a history of the menthol cigarette in the U.S.; and on a short history of addiction.