Professor Patricia Kingori

Senior Research Fellow; Wellcome Senior Investigator; Associate Professor in Global Health Ethics
Wellcome Centre for Ethics & the Humanities

Patricia Kingori, PhD, is a Wellcome Senior Investigator at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and the Ethox Centre, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the College.

Patricia’s primary expertise lies in Sociology and her current research interests intersect the Sociology of Science and Medicine, and a critical examination of ethics in practice. This work has been supported through a range of funders, the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and the Research Council UK’s Grand Challenges Research Fund.

Patricia’s work has focused on the views, values and experiences of fieldworkers and other frontline research staff involved in collecting data and interacting with research participants. This research has taken place in various African locations but has recently extended its focus to South East Asia.  This work includes exploring the experiences of:

More recently, Patricia’s ongoing research on frontline experiences of ethical issues in real-world conditions has extended to examinations of areas of ambiguity and uncertainty in the conduct of global health in her project: ‘Fakes, Fabrications and Falsehoods? Interrogating the social, ethical and political features of pseudo-global health.’

This research project aims to explore key features of global health based on its goals of increasing knowledge production and access to drugs and medicines. It seeks to understand how uncertainty and ambiguity about the authenticity of global health products and activities across a vast array of institutions, actors and locations are reconciled in practice.  It will also investigate the moral paradoxes associated with such uncertainty.

Interrogating these areas will inform understandings of what constitutes authenticity and demonstrate that people, policies and places regularly oscillate between ideas ‘real’ and ‘fake’, ‘genuine’ and ‘inauthentic’, at different times and from different positions. This research will bring together ideas, theories and approaches from various disciplines to further strengthen our understanding of the nature and practice of global health especially focused on areas of ambiguity, which are simultaneously considered real and fake, and the spectrum of possibilities between these two positions will be explored.

This research involves an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and students, working across multiple global health institutions and geographic locations including NGOs and global health academic and research institutions in Europe, Africa and South East Asia, and is funded by the Wellcome Trust (209830/Z/17/Z)

Patricia is joint module lead on the International Research Ethics, MSc in Global Health, NDPH, University of Oxford.  She also acts as DPhil supervisor for Dr Ruchi Baxi and Halina Suwalowska.

Patricia is part of the Global Health Bioethics Network, a collaborative partnership between the Wellcome African and Asia Programmes in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand-Laos, and Vietnam, and the Ethox Centre at the University of Oxford. The Network is funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (096527).  Patricia is tasked with leading the qualitative research support as part of the Network’s capacity building activities to enable early-career researchers in low-income countries to conduct locally relevant research projects with local and international mentorship.

Patricia is a member of the University of Oxford’s Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC).  This committee has overall responsibility for the development of the University’s ethical review process. Beyond Oxford, Patricia is also a member of Save the Children (UK) Quality Assurance and Ethics committee and she is also a member of the Bioethics Committee of the White House Global Initiative to Accelerate Fight Against Cancer in Africa.

Patricia is a member of the Wellcome Society & Ethics Expert Review Group, the Society & Ethics Early Career Interview Committee and occasionally sits on the Wellcome Humanities and Social Sciences Seed Award Committee and its International Public Engagement Committee.

Patricia has been awarded a Merit Award by the University of Oxford in recognition of the standards of academic excellence in her role, as well as consistently exceeding the performance expected of a member of staff of her grade and responsibilities. In 2015, Patricia was awarded a place on the prestigious Powerlist in recognition of her position as among <1% of Black British female academics employed by an Oxbridge institution.

Patricia has published widely on the subject of fieldworkers and frontline healthcare staff in Social Science and Medicine, Current Sociology, Social Studies of Science and Anthropology and Medicine. She has also published on scientists’ views and experiences of being involved in global health research collaborations and is Editor-in-Chief, with Professor Michael Parker, of the newly revised journal of Global Bioethics.

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