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Dr Lara Marks


Dr Lara Marks is a historian of medicine with a long history of collaboration on projects and teaching across different disciplines. Within SSHM she is a member of the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals and Public Policy Research group. She brings to the department a long record not only of academic work, but also strong links with biopharmaceutical executives and regulators who she has worked with through consultancy projects analysing alliances between pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Over the past few years Lara Marks has published numerous articles and books on a range of subjects, including ethnicity and healthcare, the social determinants of maternal and infant health, and the history of pharmaceutical discovery, development and regulation. Internationally, she is most well known for her book 'Sexual Chemistry: A history of the contraceptive pill'. The book was published by Yale University Press as a hardback in 2001, and then as a revised paperback edition in 2010. Receiving favourable reviews in both the public press and academic circles, in 2003 the book was awarded 'Outstanding title' by University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries. For reviews of the book see this link. 

Currently, Lara is researching the history of biotechnology. As part of this she has set up and manages,  a comprehensive online educational resource that examines what biotechnology is and the impact it has on healthcare. This was launched in February 2013 with some financial backing from the Medical Research Council. The site has had over a quarter of a million pages viewed since its launch. Visitors to the site come from all around the world and include scientists, industry experts, school children and policy makers. In addition to her website, she has completed a book for Yale University Press, '”The Lock and Key” of Medicine: Monoclonal antibodies and their transformation of healthcare' (forthcoming Spring 2015).

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