University of Oxford

Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine


Research Projects


The University of Oxford has been one of the major centres for the History of Medicine in Britain over the last thirty years. The subject has attracted scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Within the University, a key role has been played by the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, founded in 1972 and principally funded by the Wellcome Trust. The Unit comes under the general supervision of the Board of the Faculty of History, and has close ties with the Boards of the Faculties of Physiological Sciences and Clinical Medicine.

Current areas of emphasis in research include;

Military medicine

Veterinary medicine


Psychiatry & the psychological sciences (particularly in the non-Western world)

History of pharmaceuticals  

The interests of staff include the history of hospitals in the developing world, medicine in the colonies before 1850, the history of veterinary medicine in southern Africa, the history of leprosy since 1800, history of psychiatry in Africa, and various aspects of medicine and war. The research topics of students are even more diverse and range from the history of morbid anatomy and medical recipes in the early modern period, to the history of disease and medicine in colonial Africa and India.




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