Gemma Aellah (nee Jones) is a social anthropologist who has carried out fieldwork around the practices of medical research, first in East London and then in both urban and rural Kenya. She is interested in exploring medical research activities not as a separate domain of practice but as deeply embedded in – and reflective of- realms of social, economic and political life.
In Kenya she worked on the Trial Communities Study with Wenzel Geissler and Philister Adiambo Madiega. Her related doctoral work at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a fine-grained village ethnography which takes as its starting point the place of transnational medical research activities in the everyday lives of the researchers, participants and wider community associated with a ‘researched ‘ village in rural Kenya. She has particular interests in HIV, youth, class, and progress as powerful categories in contemporary Kenya.
Gemma’s doctoral supervisors are Wenzel Geissler and Clare Chandler.
Gemma is also the Research Officer at the Royal Anthropological Institute. (www.therai.org.uk)