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Thurka Sangaramoorthy

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Maryland

Trained in medical anthropology and epidemiology, I am committed to improving the health and well-being of underserved communities and this committment forms the foundation of my research agenda. My novel research program examines the complex relations between health care policy and practices and the everyday lived experiences of underserved individuals and communities. Integrating theories and innovative methodological approaches from anthropology and global public health, I strive to understand the ways in which broader structural and social processes impact community health and health care systems. I am leading studies to optimize health outcomes and access to quality and affordable health care for underserved communities particularly around HIV and sexually transmitted infections (HIV/STI). Through this work on improving access to care and health outcomes, I am developing new anthropological theories of public health policy and governance and advancing the use of unique mixed methods in both ethnographic studies and public health assessments.

Much of my scholarship has focused on the social and cultural context of acute disparities in sexual health outcomes more broadly, and HIV/STD rates in particular, among underserved Black, immigrant, and rural communities. Working with the same underserved communities, I am expanding my research agenda beyond HIV/STI to understand how racial and ethnic discrimination, precarious immigration status, economic and political marginalization, and environmental changes impact health outcomes and access to care more broadly.


  • –present
    Professor of medical anthropology, University of Maryland