Photo of Prof Ciara Kierans

Prof Ciara Kierans Ph.D

Reader in Social Anthropology Public Health and Policy


    Personal Statement

    I am an anthropologist whose research focuses on ethnographic studies of medical practice and the biopolitical implications of new medical technologies, in particular organ transplantation and the production of suffering, poverty, inequality and identity. I have conducted ethnographic research in Ireland focusing on Embodiment, Organ Recipiency and the Moral Discourses of Gift-Giving; in the UK on Organ Donation, Institutional Practice and the Production of Race and Genetic Identities; and in Mexico on Organ Transplantation: the role of the state, market and medicine in the production of catastrophic poverty, health inequalities and social suffering. I am currently working on a Wellcome Trust funded project to examine the social formation of unexplained Chronic Kidney Disease in central Mexico, focusing on the intersections between environment, political economy and harm. In addition, I have conducted research critically focusing on public health and inequality and medical diagnostic practice, as well as writing on the broader social and cultural contributions to medicine, science and technology. I work as Reader in Social Anthropology in the Department of Public Health and Policy at the University of Liverpool. Before coming to the UK, I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, and an Associate Lecturer and Researcher with the Department of Anthropology at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. I supervise and work with doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with research projects on the politics of medical care and technology in Mexico and Peru as well as UK-based projects critically examining the ‘new public health’ and social inequalities.

    Prizes or Honours

    • Visiting Scholar (The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 2014)

    Funded Fellowships

    • Research Fellowship Award (The Brocher Foundation, Switzerland, 2013)
    • Fulbright Fellow to Harvard University (The Fulbright Commission in Ireland, 2001)