Medical Anthropologist Named a Guggenheim Fellow

April 20, 2020

Lesley A. Sharp, PhD, a senior research scientist in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a member of the faculty of Barnard College, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Sharp is one of 175 honorees selected from nearly 3,000 applicants for the annual award that recognizes individuals for their exceptional scholarship in the arts and sciences. She was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for research that addresses inmate-run, prison-based hospice programs in the U.S.

A medical anthropologist by training, much of her work has focused on the ethical and moral consequences of innovative medicine and science in contexts that include human-animal encounters in experimental lab research, organ donation and transplantation, and experimental biotechnology. She has also written extensively on indigenous healing, as well as youth, health, history, and political consciousness in Madagascar.

Sharp, who is the Barbara Chamberlain & Helen Chamberlain Josefsberg '30 Professorship of Anthropology and Department Chair at Barnard, holds four separate teaching awards. In 2019, she was granted the Graduate Student Mentor Award of the Medical Anthropology Student Association of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA), as well as the Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as Applied to Medical Problems of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Her book Strange Harvest: Organ Transplants, Denatured Bodies, and the Transformed Self won SMA's 2008 Millennium Book Award.