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Luke Messac, MD, PhD

Resident Physician in Emergency Medicine, Brown University

Luke Messac is a physician and a historian. His research focuses on the histories of health policy in southern Africa and the United States. He is currently a Resident in Emergency Medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

His work investigates the causes and consequences of scarcity in medical and social service provision. Subjects of recent research have included international opiate control, population policy in southern African politics, feminist critiques of national income standards, hepatitis C diagnostic techniques, and the contribution of medicine to population-level mortality declines. He has published articles in Social Science and Medicine, the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and the Journal of Policy History, among others. He has also co-authored chapters in Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction (University of California, 2013), and Therapeutic Revolutions: Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the 20th Century (University of Chicago, 2016).

Luke received his BA from Harvard University (Social Studies, 2008), his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (History and Sociology of Science, 2016), and his MD from the University of Pennsylvania (2018).


  • –present
    MD/PhD student in History, University of Pennsylvania


  • 2008 
    Harvard University, BA