Director, Medical Humanities Research Institute, Rice UniversityKirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH is the Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English and Director of the Medical Humanities Research Institute at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Kirsten is the author of Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies (Oxford, 2013) and Cinematic Prophylaxis: Globalization and Contagion in the Discourse of World Health (Duke, 2005), and editor of Applied Media Studies (Routledge, 2017). Kirsten is founder of the Medical Humanities program (2016-present) and the Medical Futures Lab (2012-present), and she has extensive experience using human centered design for patient collaboration in health technology development. Her research on trust and privacy in digital health ecosystems has been featured in Marketplace Tech on NPR, The Atlantic, STAT, Slate, and The Washington Post. Her writing about the COVID-19 pandemic was featured in The Washington Post, STAT, and Inside Higher Ed. Kirsten’s work on humanistic AI and health equity includes the paper, “Artificial Intelligence and Medical Humanities” (2020), curriculum on “Responsible AI for Health” supported by the National Humanities Center, and a book project called The Visual History of Computational Health, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in their “Dangers and Opportunities of Technology” program. She is currently writing Virtual Health with MIT Press. Kirsten leads a digital health humanities project called “Translational Humanities for Public Health,” and her work was recently profiled in The Lancet. Kirsten receives research support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Institutes of Health.
Kirsten OstherrDirector, Medical Humanities Research Institute, Rice University