Dr Clare Chandler
BA MSc PhD
in Medical Anthropology
15-17 Tavistock Place
Clare is a medical anthropologist and the Director of the LSHTM Antimicrobial Resistance Centre, which works to inspire innovation through interdisciplinary engagements.
Her research interests lie in the application of anthropological methods and theory to policies and practices relating to medicine use, diagnostic testing, management of febrile illnesses and health care improvement interventions. Much of her current research focuses on antimicrobial resistance, and she leades the Anthropology of Antimicrobial Resistance research group, a dynamic group of anthropologists addressing this critical issue through a number of research projects.
Clare's research has produced rich and policy relevant accounts of the roles of medicines and of diagnostic tests across settings with different resource availability. Her in-depth ethnographic field sites have been in Uganda and Tanzania. She has also led research in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa, Afghanistan, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and the United Kingdom. Her methodological expertise are in ethnography, mixed-methods studies, intervention design and evaluation.
She has provided technical advice to the UK Government, WHO, LMIC governments and the media on topics including Ebola, malaria and AMR. She serves on numerous professional and policy committees internationally.
Clare has a strong commitment to strengthening the quality, diversity and community of social research in global health. She takes seriously her leadership role in supervison, mentorship and teaching both within the LSHTM and through numerous international partnerships.
At LSHTM Clare Chandler organises and lectures on the Medical Anthropology module as well as lecturing and teaching on the Malaria Module, Qualitative Methods module and the Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries module. She is a tutor on the Public Health in Developing Countries MSc and the One Health MSc.
Clare leads the Anthropology of Antimicrobial Resistance research group, a dynamic group of social researchers addressing the critical issue of AMR around the world.
She is Principal Investigator for the ESRC funded Anti-Microbials In Society (AMIS) Programme, which aims to bring fresh perspectives to social studies of antimicrobial resistance. The Programme includes empirical studies in Thailand and Uganda that explore ethnographically the ways that antibiotics are entangled with the ways our societies and economies are arranged. The research focuses on antibiotics used by humans - in cities, villages, migrant settlements, health facilities; by animals - in small scale and industrial pig and poultry farms; and in plants - specifically citrus production. The grant also funds the AMIS Hub web platform, which profiles high quality social research on AMR through a library of essential readings, people and projects listings, thematic summaries and commentaries.
Clare leads the social science research for the FCDO funded FIEBRE programme in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Myanmar. This research looks at antibiotic use in practice for residents and health care providers, and has highlighted the ways that these substances have ended up organising health care, patients, development, research and policy.
Clare is co-lead together with Richard Stabler as the LSHTM Host Institution for the Fleming Fund's Fellowship programme, through which a team of mentors are supporting fellows in government institutions in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Clare holds a number of smaller grants, and collaborates with the Agriculture and Infectious Diseases group, to address specific research questions around
- Awareness of antibiotic resistance amongst human and animal healthcare practitioners
- Measurement of antibiotic use across humans and animals in Low and Middle Income Countries
- Histories of antibiotics in Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe
- WASH and biosecurity interventions for AMR
- The history of WASH as a sector
- Hospital antimicrobial stewardship
Clare's fieldwork has primarily been undertaken in East Africa, where she has worked on the topic of health care since 2004. Her PhD was an ethnography of clinical decision making of health workers at district hospitals in northeast Tanzania, with a focus on malaria diagnosis. Her work has been situated in multi-discipliniary teams, and she has a long standing interest in the products of epistemological tensions between disciplines engaged in health care research and practice in low resource settings.
From 2008-2013 Clare was the lead social scientist for the ACT Consortium, a group of 25 projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that aimed to improve the delivery of antimalarial drugs in Africa and Asia. She led project teams in 8 countries to undertake formative research, design of complex interventions embedded in the social relations of health care, and evaluation of these interventions alongside cluster randomised trials taking place in public health facilities, private drug retailers and community health workers. A focus of many of these projects was the introduction of rapid diagnostic test technologies into a range of health care settings, and Clare has contributed to a body of quailtative research in this topic.
From 2013-2016 Clare held a fellowship funded by the Institutional Strategic Support Fund, an initiative supported by the Wellcome Trust and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She focused on methods to design interventions which aim to improve health care and methods to understand and interpret how such interventions are enacted, absorbed, resisted and appropriated in the everyday lives of implementers and recipients. She also focused on the role of anthropology in malaria research, bringing together social scientists to 're-imagine' malaria, resulting in special issues in both the Malaria Journal and Medical Anthropology.
Since 2016 Clare's primary focus has been on antimicrobial resistance. She researches the ways that antibiotics have become relied upon in different ways across social, economic and political spheres, arguing that antibiotics have become infrastructural in our globalised societies today.