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Melissa Graboyes

Melissa Graboyes profile picture
  • Affiliation: alumni, faculty
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Additional Title: Director of African Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-2829
  • Office: 369 McKenzie Hall
  • Office Hours: Thursdays 1:30-3:30pm Sign up at
  • Affiliated Departments: African Studies, Clark Honors College, Global Health Program
  • Website: Website
  • Lab Website: Lab
  • Research Website: Research
  • Curriculum Vitae


My current work focuses on telling the story of human experimentation and medical ethics in East Africa from 1940-1980. It is a history of the very real encounters that made up medical research in the region: of European doctors taking blood samples under cover of darkness; African assistants going door to door collecting stool samples in tarred jars; and of school children lined up to receive injections. It is also a recounting of peoples' responses to and understanding of these encounters. 

My hope is that a careful history of medical research in East Africa will provide useful information to contextualize current public health debates, and create more sensitive policy and research programs in the future. Through work both inside and outside of the university, my commitment is to high quality research on issues related to medicine, health and disease on the African continent. I am particularly interested in making research findings accessible to the larger public, and serving as a bridge to translate academic findings to practitioners working in the field.

More about my work, and information about researching and traveling in East Africa can be found on my website: