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    Patricia Kingori becomes youngest Black Oxbridge professor

    Humza Jilani reports.

    Patricia Kingori, a research fellow at Somerville College, has become one of the youngest women to be awarded a full professorship in Oxford’s 925-year history, and she is the youngest ever Black professor at Oxford or Cambridge.

    Kingori is a sociologist based at the Ethox Centre and Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities. Working at the intersection of sociology and medicine, her research explores the ethical dilemmas that arise in the “everyday ethical experiences of frontline workers in global health” across a variety of contexts throughout Africa and Southeast Asia.

    She currently leads a team of researchers exploring the evolving concerns around “Fakes, Fabrications, and Falsehoods in Global Health.”  The project, which is funded by a four-year Wellcome Centre award, seeks to understand the people, places and processes involved in contemporary concerns about fakes in global health.

    “To have my body of work recognised in this way is a great honour, and I am deeply grateful to the many people who have inspired and supported me so far,” Kingori said in a press release from Somerville College.

    Outside of Oxford, she has advised multiple organisations, ranging from the World Health Organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and the Obama White House.

    This milestone is especially important for Kingori, as she has dedicated her professional life to advocating for greater Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in academia. She spearheaded the creation of a visiting scholarship for Black academics at the University of Oxford, in addition to a student internship scheme aimed at increasing diversity. In 2020, she contributed to the Wellcome Trust’s Reimagine Research Initiative.

    Kingori is also a member of the Global Health Bioethics Network and leads a team providing qualitative research support for early-career researchers in low-income countries, including Malawi, Kenya, and Cambodia.

    Born in Kenya and raised in Saint Kitts and London, Kingori graduated from the Royal Holloway, University of London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

    Image Credit: Philip Allfrey / CC BY-SA 3.0

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