AMF/Hannah Professorship in the History of Medicine and Health Care

Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch

Dr. Stahnisch's research attempts to create in-depth understanding for the development and necessities of basic research in medicine and the health sciences. It further places medicine and health care in the wider context of society and culture with their specific traditions of healing, inquiry, health care and patient support.

His expertise lies in a number of areas, such as the history and philosophy of laboratory-based research in Western medicine, the long history and theory of the nerve and brain sciences, as well as the history of public mental health and psychiatry.

Being trained as a medical doctor as well as in philosophy of science, Dr. Stahnisch became particularly interested in history of medicine as it allows the nature of often ground-breaking changes to be uncovered that not only gave rise to health research, as we know it today, but also separated other time-periods and cultures from one another. In the increasingly globalized and flexible world of today, such historical in-depth knowledge helps us to better understand the concepts of health, disease, suffering, research, and healing - not only in Western societies, but also in continuously merging cultures worldwide.

Dr. Stahnisch has published widely on the history of experimental biomedicine and the neurosciences, including one monograph on 19th century French experimental physiology and another monograph on the after-effects of laboratory physiology in Central Europe. A third monograph on early developments leading to the neurosciences as an interdisciplinary field in the 20th century is currently under review.