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Kirsten Ostherr

Rice University
Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English & Director of Medical Futures Lab

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Kirsten Ostherr is the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she is a media scholar, health researcher, and technology analyst. She is founder and director of the Medical Humanities program and the Medical Futures Lab. Her research on trust and privacy in digital health ecosystems has been featured in Slate, The Washington Post, Big Data & Society, and Catalyst.

Kirsten is the author of Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies (Oxford, 2013) and Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005). She is editor of Applied Media Studies (Routledge, 2018), and co-editor of Science/Animation, a special issue of the journal Discourse (2016). Kirsten is currently writing a book called Quantified Health: Learning from Patient Stories in the Age of Big Data.

Kirsten has ongoing projects on simulation as a mediator between human and technological forms of medical expertise, and human centered design as a technique for patient collaboration in health technology development. She co-created Medicine in the Digital Age on edX, an open, online course that has reached tens of thousands of global learners. She has spoken to audiences at the White House, the World Health Organization, the National Library of Medicine, TEDx, the mHealth Summit, Medicine X, the Louisville Innovation Summit, the Bauhaus, and universities and conferences worldwide.

Kirsten received her PhD from Brown University and her MPH from University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.