History of Medicine
Tess originally hails from the Pacific Northwest and calls Nanaimo, British Columbia her hometown. She is interested broadly in the ways that contemporary interactions between biomedical researchers and indigenous populations are shaped by their historical antecedents. Her current research focuses on the history of the circumpolar health movement in Cold War Alaska, which brought together biomedical research and public health in an effort to address health issues particular to Arctic regions. Tess’s work also considers how circumpolar health came to serve as a site from which Alaska Native peoples fought for involvement in determining the priorities and agendas for health research in Alaska.
Before coming to Yale, Tess earned a BA in History and an MA in the History of Medicine from McGill University. Her Master’s research focused on the role of concepts of gender in shaping the disease paradigm of alcoholism and the subsequent development of therapeutic approaches to the disease. In her spare time, Tess practices martial arts and plays beer-league softball. She is a dedicated fan of the Vancouver Canucks.