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Sociology Research


Dr Tobias Haeusermann is a Sociologist and Affiliated Researcher at the Department and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCSF Decision Lab at the Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco. His current research aims to understand the ethical concerns in existing clinical applications of closed-loop neuromodulation in epilepsy, movement disorders and mood disorders. He is also part of UCSF's Institute for Health Policy Studies and its newly established Medical Cultures Lab, a collaborative of social scientists working on methods innovations and the culture of medicine.

He received his PhD and Master of Philosophy degrees in sociology from the University of Cambridge. During his doctoral studies he held a research fellowship at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research and was a member of its Long-term Care and Dementia group. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute of the University of Zurich and for the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich. Thereafter, he taught as student supervisor at the University of Cambridge and was a visiting fellow at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford.

Research Interests

Dr Haeusermann is particularly interested in how medical knowledge and care practices are interpreted differently in distinct cultural settings. Beyond these specific research domains, he is also interested in aging studies, the sociology of health and illness, comparative ethnographic research, and qualitative research methodologies.


2017/2018: Introduction to Sociology: Modern Societies I”, HSPS Tripos

2016/2017/2018: “Social Context of Health and Illness”, Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Haeusermann T. 2017. The Dementia Village – Between Community and Society. In: Krause, F and Boldt, J (eds). Caring about Care: Theoretical and Practical Challenges in Healthcare. 135-168.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Haeusermann T. 2019. Forced continuity: Explorations of biographical narratives in dementia care. J Aging Stud. 49:1-8. PMID: 31229213.

Haeusermann T, Fadda M, Blasimme A, Tzovaras BG, Vayena E. 2018. Genes wide open: Data sharing and the social gradient of genomic privacy. AJOB Empir Bioeth. 9(4):207-221. PMID: 30596357.

Vayena E, Haeusermann T, Adjekum A, Blasimme A. 2018. Digital health: meeting the ethical and policy challenges. Swiss Med Wkly. 148:w14571. PMID: 29376547.

Haeusermann T. 2017. The dementias - A review and a call for a disaggregated approach. J Aging Stud. 42:22-31. PMID: 28918818.

Haeusermann T, Greshake B, Blasimme A, Irdam D, Richards M, Vayena E. 2017. Open sharing of genomic data: Who does it and why? PLoS One. 12(5):e0177158. PMID: 28486511.

Haeusermann T. 2016. Caring Communities. Postgraduate Journal of Medical Humanities. 2:61-83.

Haeusermann T. 2014. I can’t eat that: The sociology behind the rise in food allergies and intolerances. Current Sociology. 63(3):369-386.

Haeusermann T. 2013. Custom Publishing in the UK: Rise of a Silent Giant. Publishing Research Quarterly. 29(2):99–109.

Key Publications - Other

Haeusermann T. 2018. In 2018, Let’s Root Out Genetic Racism For Good. ETHOXBLOG.

Haeusermann, T & Greshake, B.  2017. Is sharing always caring? On open genomic data sharing and why people do it. DNA DIGEST.

Haeusermann T.  2017. Opinion: Get to Know Why People Openly Share Genomic Data. The Scientist.

Haeusermann T. 2017. Book Review: A Passion for Society: How We Think about Human Suffering. Sociology of Health & Illness (4): 648-649.

Haeusermann T. 2016. Book Review: Another Person’s Poison: A History of Food Allergy. Food, Culture & Society 19(4):729-731.

Job Title:
Affiliated Researcher
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