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Margaret E. Humphreys, Josiah Charles Trent Distinguished Professor

Margaret E. Humphreys

History of American medicine and public health, history of tropical medicine, especially malaria and yellow fever, history of medicine in the American Civil War. History of racial disparities in health and health care in the US.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  206 Classroom Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  +1 919 684 3014
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:  http://www.mehumphreys.com

Teaching (Fall 2024):

    Class Bldg 137, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    (also cross-listed as GLHLTH 174.01)
    TBA, 12:00 AM-11:59 PM
    TBA, 12:00 AM-11:59 PM
Office Hours:

By appointment--email meh@duke.edu

M.D.Harvard University1987
Ph.D.Harvard University1983
MA History of ScienceHarvard University1977
BA Program of Liberal StudiesUniversity of Notre Dame1976

Medicine, Science and Technology
Intellectual History
United States and Canada
Research Interests:

Current projects: Civil War POWs, Biography of JD Harris, MD

My major research interest is the history of disease in America, especially in the South. Until the last half of the twentieth century diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, pellagra, and hookworm marked the south as tropical, impoverished, and strikingly different from the rest of the United States. My recent work concerns the history of medicine in the American Civil war. I teach and read broadly in the history of public health, medicine, race, biology, and infectious diseases.

Areas of Interest:

History of medicine
History of public health
History of evolutionary thought
History of disease
History of global health


African American soldiers • African Americans • Aged • American Civil War • Body Mass Index • Diabetes Mellitus • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 • Diabetic Diet • Diet, Diabetic • European Continental Ancestry Group • History, 19th Century • History, 20th Century • Hookworm Infections • Insulin • Malaria • Male • Military Medicine • Occupations • Pellagra • Residence Characteristics • Southeastern United States • United States • Veterans Disability Claims • Yellow Fever

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Rachel Levandoski  
  • Moshe Usadi  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Duggan, AT; Klunk, J; Porter, AF; Dhody, AN; Hicks, R; Smith, GL; Humphreys, M; McCollum, AM; Davidson, WB; Wilkins, K; Li, Y; Burke, A; Polasky, H; Flanders, L; Poinar, D; Raphenya, AR; Lau, TTY; Alcock, B; McArthur, AG; Golding, GB; Holmes, EC; Poinar, HN, The origins and genomic diversity of American Civil War Era smallpox vaccine strains., Genome biology, vol. 21 no. 1 (July, 2020), pp. 175 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Humphreys, M, The influenza of 1918: Evolutionary perspectives in a historical context, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, vol. 2018 no. 1 (January, 2018), pp. 219-229 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Humphreys, ME, This Place of Death: Environment as Weapon in the American Civil War, Southern Quarterly: a journal of the arts in the South, vol. 53 no. 3/4 (2016), pp. 12-36, University of Southern Mississippi
  4. Humphreys, M, 17th Century Variola Virus Reveals the Recent History of Smallpox, Current Biology, vol. 26 no. 24 (2016), pp. 3407-3412 [doi]  [abs]
  5. M. Humphreys, Review of Shauna Devine, Learning from the Wounded: The Civil War and the Rise of American Medical Science., Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Forthcoming)

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