I am a historian of science and medicine with a broad interest in 20th century biomedicine, human-animal relations and the history of science communication. At CHSTM, I am a Research Associate on the Animal Research Nexus collaborative award funded by the Wellcome Trust. I work with Rob Kirk to elucidate the history of the seminal Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 that regulates animal experimentation in the UK, and its effect on the practices, perceptions and infrastructure of laboratory animal research.
My PhD thesis (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, 2010–15) examined the invention and early adoption of genetically modified (transgenic) mice, with close attention paid to circulation of materials, researchers and techniques, and the communication of this research to diverse audiences. I then joined the BBSRC-funded ‘Historicising Dolly’ project at Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh. My work in Edinburgh focused on the history of the Roslin Institute, where Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996, and its embrace of genetic engineering during the dramatic upheaval that science faced in 1980s Britain.
I have also been investigating the history of bacteriophage therapy – the use of viruses to treat bacterial infections – across the Iron Curtain. A promising experimental treatment in the 1920s and 1930s, phage therapy was eclipsed by sulfa drugs and mass production of antibiotics during World War II, only surviving in Soviet Georgia and a few other socialist countries. I seek to explain both its decline and survival, as well as explore the recent interest in phage therapy in response to the growing anxieties about antibiotic resistance.