Home Medical field Helen Hansen: Developing structural humility in medicine

Helen Hansen: Developing structural humility in medicine


Helen Hansen is Co-Chair of the Health Equity and Translational Social Sciences Research Theme and Associate Director of the Center for Social Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. She helped shape this role before taking it on in 2021, lobbying the Dean of the Medical School for the inclusion of translational social sciences: talking about translational science, which goes from bench to bedside, and I have says we need translational social science, on the ground and from the community at the bedside. Hansen, who is also a professor of psychiatry, says she seeks to “bridge the social sciences and humanities, and broader social scholarship, with medical school…One of my great interests is what I call biosocial research, research that takes seriously the interface between biological systems and social systems; so how do social demands influence physiology, gene expression, biological response? Academic medicine does not have social models or robust social methods to examine the social part of this interface, so this is part of what the theme tries to support, importing it from the social sciences”.

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