Larry Au, PhD

Larry Au is an Assistant Professor for the Sociology Department at The City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Global and Civic Leadership. His research examines the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in the production of biomedical knowledge, and asks how clinicians and scientists can better serve their patients and the public. Part of this work examines the globalization of precision medicine—or the use of genomics and other forms of big data to improve diagnosis and treatment—as a policy idea and scientific project, focusing primarily on its rise in China. Another part of this research looks at the politics of expertise around Long Covid, in particular, the experience of patients as they navigate uncertainties around their condition. His work has been published in Sociological ForumQualitative SociologySocial Science & MedicineSSM-Qualitative Research in Health, Science Technology & Human ValuesPublic Understanding of Science, and other venues. This research has been supported by the Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies, the Social Science Research Council, and other funders.

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Kathryn Ibata-Arens, PhD

Kathryn Ibata-Arens is Vincent de Paul Professor of Political Economy, DePaul University. A scholar of innovation and entrepreneurship, science and technology policy, and economic development, her 2021 book Pandemic Medicine: Why the Global Innovation System is Broken and How We Can Fix It analyzes international competition in new drug discovery and access to essential medicines. Ibata-Arens is also researching the moral economy of patents over living matter. Her 2019 book Beyond Technonationalism: Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia uses the lens of venture start-up firms in China, India, Japan, and Singapore, finding a new “networked techno-nationalism” guiding national policy and firm-level strategy supporting competitive growth in frontier technologies. In her journal articles, blogs, policy briefings, podcasts, and books Ibata-Arens employs such methods as historical-institutional, policy and social network analysis, and original fieldwork-based case studies, contextualized within global politics and markets.

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Wan-Zi Lu, PhD

Wan-Zi Lu holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Her book project, “The Many Hands of the Healthcare State,” examines bodily donation at the nexus of the institutionalization of care, political culture, and gift-giving. To understand why shared cultural norms have produced different policies and practices of organ donation, she compares the regulatory frameworks and policy outcomes of organ donation in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Through her comparative historical analysis, she illuminates that institutional and organizational apparatuses affect policy delivery, define the boundaries of markets, and shape medical outcomes. These findings characterize East Asian “late developmental states,” where contemporary nation-states extend their intervention beyond the economy and drive agendas for promoting the quality and well-being of the population. With varying degrees of engagement with existing cultural norms, these institutional designs exemplify moral political economy across the globe, as healthcare development intertwines with market frontiers, state authorities, and the provision of social welfare. Her works received the 2022 Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award in the section on comparative-historical sociology and the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award in the section on altruism, morality, and social solidarity of the American Sociological Association. Additionally, she has published a set of studies on how traditional authority structures shape democratization and financialization across indigenous peoples in Taiwan in Sociology of Development, the Revue française de sociologie, and other venues.

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Étienne Nouguez, PhD

Étienne Nouguez is a CNRS researcher at the Center for the Sociology of Organizations (CNRS – Sciences Po Paris). At the crossroads of economic sociology and health sociology, his research focuses on health markets. These markets are approached as complex social organisations combining regulatory agencies, experts, industrialists, health professionals and consumers. But they are also analysed as spaces for valuation in which plural and potentially contradictory conceptions of the value of these products are articulated. After a PhD dissertation on the French markets for generic medicines, he studied the politics of medicines prices setting in France. His current research focuses on how European markets are formed for boundary products between food and drugs, with a particular focus on probiotics. He is also involved in a collective research project on the French Medicines Agency. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, these researches shed light on the different processes linking health and market values.

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