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Research interests

My research focuses on retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) a condition which became the leading cause of infant blindness in the US in the 1940s and 50s. The condition was unknowingly caused by administering high oxygen concentrations to premature infants to combat respiratory distress. While this treatment was successful in saving many lives, the high concentrations of oxygen interfered with the development of the eye causing the blood vessels in the eye to develop abnormally and often leading to the detachment of the retina.

My research examines the consequences of medical intervention, the implications of RLF for patients and families, and how the story of RLF contributes new understanding of broader narratives of disability in the 20th century.

I am interested in the shifting politics of 20th century American medicine and ideas around disablement through patient perspectives and lived experience of disability. I have previously worked on social histories of medicine in the UK looking into patient relationships with the medical and pharmaceutical professions.


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