Keith Wailoo to speak on the history of race and disease in America

Culture, history, race and politics all have played a significant hand in creating today’s health care disparities in America. Health policy historian Keith Wailoo will share his insights in his talk “How Cancer Crossed the Color Line: Race and Disease in America” at 4 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 11 in Rebstock Hall room 215.


Wailoo is the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University, coming to New Brunswick in 2001 after teaching for nine years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the Director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity, with a joint appointment in the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research.

His research focuses on the role of technology in 20th century medicine. He explores how numerous forces, including changing medical relations with the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government and attitudes toward particular patient groups, have shaped medical ideas about blood, blood disease, and patients with these diseases. His first book, Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America, received the 1997 Arthur Viseltear Award from the American Public Health Association.

He has received several awards and grants, including the prestigious James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowship in the History of Science in 1999.

He received a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science in 1992 from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1984 from Yale University.

The event is free and open to the public. Rebstock Hall is located east of Mallinckrodt Center on the Washington University Danforth campus.

For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page (