Stephen G. Pemberton
|Title:||Associate Professor of History|
|Office:||Cullimore Hall 325|
|Hours:||Office hours for students in Fall 2018 are Mondays 2-3 pm and by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Please contact by email to make an appointment. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dept:||Federated History Dept.|
As a historian of medicine, my published research has largely focused on the history of diseases and their management.
M.A. in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Memphis
Honors, Awards, and Professional Service
- Winner of the 2006 Association of American Publishers/Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division book award in the History of Science category for Keith Wailoo and Stephen Pemberton, The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine: Ethnicity and Innovation in Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, and Sickle Cell Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press).
- Visiting Scholar, Institute for Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX, January-March 2004.
- Faculty Fellow, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, New Brunswick NJ 2002- 2003.
- Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research and Department of History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ, 2001- 2003.
- John J. Pisano Grant, Historical Office, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD, 1998-1999
- Germs, Genes, and the Body: Science and Technology in Modern Medicine (HIST 381)
- The History of American Medicine and Public Health (HIST 379)
- Medicine and Health Law in modern America (Hist 378)
- Polio to AIDS: The Politics of Disease (HSS 491)
- Social History of American Medicine Since 1800 (HIST 626)
- AIDS in America: Culture and Science in the History of American Medicine (HIST 622)
- Race, Culture, and Science in the History of American Medicine (HIST 622)
- Topics in the History of Health: Medicine and Health Law in Twentieth-Century America (HIST 656)
- Topics in the History of Health: Heredity and Health in American Society (HIST 656)
- The History of the Body in Modern Western Culture (HIST 630)
- Technology, Environment and Health: Theory and Method (HIST 635)
- Topics in the History of Health: Heredity and Health in American Society (History 26:510:563), Spring 2008
- The History of the Body in Modern Western Culture (History 26:510:596), Fall 2006
- Technology, Environment and Health: Theory and Method (History 26:510:598), Fall 2008, Spring 2006, Spring 2005
- Social History of American Medicine Since 1800 (History 26:510:595), Fall 2007, Fall 2005
- AIDS in America: Culture and Science in the History of American Medicine (History 26:510:593), Spring 2009
Sickle Cell Disease and Link to Race Focus of NJIT Researcher at NIH Event
“Herrick’s discovery of sickle cell disease was a pivotal moment in medical history,” Pemberton said. “It stands as a crucial innovation in Western medicine as well as hematology, one that symbolized the power of microscopic analysis and the laboratory to give evidence to a distinctive form of anemia that physicians had previously failed to see among their African-American patients.”
Pemberton, a historian, wrote The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine: Ethnicity and Innovation in Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). The book received the science award that same year from the Association of American Publishers. Next year, Johns Hopkins University Press will publish his forthcoming book: The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress.
Pemberton will participate in the symposium’s opening panel discussion on historical and cultural perspectives. John Ruffin, director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, will moderate. Pemberton’s talk, "Sickle Cell Anemia and the Vexed Crossroads of Race and Disease in America,” will examine health disparities of African Americans over the last century. “African Americans have been at a disadvantage in our healthcare system,” he said. “What historians have done is use sickle cell as a lens into the disparities in the treatment of the disease.”
Physicians and others believe today that the sickle cell trait is prevalent among people of African descent because the trait developed over time as protection against malaria. The trait is not the disease; it’s related to a specific gene. Individuals who inherit it from both parents have a 25 percent chance of developing the disease, a hereditary disorder leading to anemia and treatable by blood transfusions. Affected red blood cells are sickle-shaped, hence the name, and don’t carry oxygen efficiently so that patients experience painful crises as their tissues are starved.
Highlights from Pemberton’s talk include:
- As the disease rose to prominence from 1950-1980, it came to embody the pervasive pain and suffering of the African-American community. Many politicians marked investments in research and treatment of sickle cell as a sign of sensitivity to issues of race and cultural difference in America, even where they sought to reduce overall investments in medicine and public health.
- Despite the attention, the ways that the history of sickle cell disease has been told in the last century have (until recently) largely neglected the patient’s changing experience of their illness. Ironically, despite the growing social visibility of the disease in the U.S. over the last century, people with the disease remain a poorly understood, if not neglected, population.
- The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)
For More Information, See the following:
Pg. 99: Stephen Pemberton´s The Bleeding Disease
- The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine: Ethnicity and Innovation in Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, and Sickle Cell Disease (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Co-authored with Keith Wailoo
- "Canine Technologies, Model Patients: The Historical Production of Hemophiliac Dogs in American Biomedicine," in Susan Schrepfer and Philip Scranton, eds., Industrializing Organisms: Introducing Evolutionary History (New York: Routledge, 2004), 191-213.