Andrea Núñez Casal, PhD
I am an inter/transdisciplinary researcher of the entanglements between microbes, embodiment, and inequalities. To date, my research has focused on (1) socio-cultural aspects of the human microbiome and immunology; and (2) feminist 'embodied' approaches and methods to address and remedy health inequalities associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and chronic/recurrent infections. This includes an examination of how bioinequalities are being reproduced within science as it moves from and between the laboratory, the governmental, the popular, and the embodied. I use a wide variety of theoretical perspectives including Sociology and Anthropology of Science, Medical Humanities, STS, Gender and Body Studies, and qualitative research methods including multi-sited and digital ethnographies, historical and policy analysis.
I hold a bachelor's degree in Biology (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 2008). I decided to pursue my interest in the socio-cultural studies of biology, completing with distinction
a Master's in Cultural Studies (Goldsmiths, University of London, 2011). My interdisciplinary training has allowed me to explore a variety of social topics and empirical sites in contemporary biomedicine (microbial ecology and immunology) in the Republic of Korea, Brazil, the UK, and
the US. Funded by 'la Caixa' Foundation, my Ph.D. at the Department of Media, Communications
and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths (2019), examined how human microbiome science reinstates
an immunology of inclusion and exclusion through the 'biologization' of social categories of difference (race, gender, and class in particular). My Ph.D. (no corrections) was the first sociocultural study of immunity, the microbiome, and inequalities. Using embodied experiences as a sustainable approach to address recurrent infections and AMR has pioneered my field attracting wide attention, including several invitations to present research at the MIT (2015) and The British Academy (2018), among other institutions, and to publish in Nature and EASST.
I have been an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths (2014-2020) and Research Associate on the Wellcome Trust project 'Following the life of the Francis Crick Institute' at The University of Edinburgh, (2016-2017). In 2019, I was awarded the Wellcome Trust Fellowship ‘Shared Futures: Codeveloping Medical Humanities in China and the UK' by the University of Strathclyde. As a Research Associate in Genetics, Law and Society, The University of Oxford
(2020), I have conducted research on the cultural implications of non-invasive pregnancy tests in Taiwan and Denmark. I participated in the European Commission COST Action Bio-objects (2012-2015). I am currently part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) research 'Antimicrobials in Society' (AMIS) and the EC Sonar-Global network.
I have recently been awarded an 'EcoSocieties Fund' (2020) (The University of Nottingham) for ‘The Witch and the Microbe’. The project examines the genealogies and status of feminised knowledges-practices of microbial healing (local, traditional, profane) as key to resurface and
update effective approaches and new articulations of care for "recalcitrant infections" (i.e. those recurrent or persistent with no clear biomedical explanation or treatment). The project is also part of my visiting fellowship at the Instituto Universitario de Género, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (December 2020-June 2021).