Stephan Kloos is a medical anthropologist (PhD 2010 UC San Francisco & Berkeley) specialized on Sowa Rigpa, also known as Tibetan medicine. He works as a senior researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Social Anthropology in Vienna.
Since 2001, Stephan has continuously conducted internationally funded research projects on the sociocultural, political, and economic dynamics of Tibetan medicine’s development in the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2013, he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant to document and study the emergence of a transnational Sowa Rigpa industry.
Stephan has published extensively on topics like Tibetan medicine and nationalist movements, Sowa Rigpa and global health, Tibetan “humanitarianism from below,” and the “pharmaceutical assemblage.” His work has been covered in, and informed, international media and press reports.
Currently, Stephan is particularly interested in developing a new perspective on Asian medicines as modern industries, rather than as “traditional culture.” While the Sowa Rigpa world remains his main focus, it is clear that Tibetan medicine participates in the growing global market for Asian medicines, which is only beginning to be addressed by serious research.