Curriculum Vitae

  • Extensive research (including 3 years fieldwork) on contemporary Tibetan medicine and its development outside Tibet since 2001
  • ERC Starting Grant Awardee 2013 (1.46 million EUR)
  • Directed and managed major research projects funded by a Marie Curie IIF Grant, Fulbright, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Austrian Science Fund, and numerous other agencies (totaling over 600,000 EUR).
  • Published numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, reviews and a monograph in three languages, with a major book publication in preparation.
  • Numerous invited papers and panels at international conferences and workshops.
  • Teaching experience with graduate and undergraduate students as well as public audiences.

2004-2010: PhD in Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco & Berkeley
1995-2002: MA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, Austria
2000-2001: MSc program in Medical Anthropology, Brunel University, London, UK


Current: Research Group Leader, Institute of Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences
2011-2013: Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow, Institute of Social Anthropology, AAS
2008-2010: Research Project Leader, Institute of Social Anthropology, AAS
2005-2010: Research Fellow, French Institute of Pondicherry
2002-2004: Associated Researcher, Wittgenstein Research Center, AAS
Since 2001: Research Fellow, Nomad RSI


2013-14: University of Vienna, Department of Social- & Cultural Anthropology (IKSA):
Lecturer of an undergraduate course on Central Texts in Social Anthropology

2013-14: University of Vienna, Dept. of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB):
Convener and lecturer of an advanced undergraduate course on Society, Culture and Politics in the Tibetan Exile

2012: Central University for Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath:
Convener and lecturer of a 3-day Introductory Course in Medical Anthropology for medical students

2004: IMC Fachhochschule Krems – University of Applied Sciences:
Two lectures on Medical Anthropology of South Asia for students of Health Management

GRANTS & SCHOLARSHIPS (selection, since 2000)

2013: European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant (336932 RATIMED)
2013: Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Stand-alone Research Project (P 25997-G15)
2011: European Research Executive Agency, Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship
2009: Austrian Ministry Of Science & Research Mobility Grant
2008: Austrian Science Fund Stand-alone Research Project (P 20589-G15)
2007: Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
2004-2007: UCSF Graduate Dean’s Health Science Fellowship (every year)
2005: Qayum Foundation Grant for exploratory research in India
2005: Land Steiermark State Grant for Outstanding Academic Success
2004: Austrian BM:WF Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies Abroad
2004: Fulbright Scholarship for PhD studies in the USA
2001: University of Vienna Research Grant
2001: Land Steiermark Research Grant
2000: European Union, ERASMUS Scholarship to study abroad
2000: Land Steiermark Foreign Language Grant


See the complete list of publications here.


See the complete list of media coverage here.


Editorial board member: J-AIM Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (since 2018)

Associate Editor: Asian Medicine – Tradition and Modernity (since 2016)

IASTAM Council member (since 2013)

WFCMS | World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies
Tibetan Medicine Committee Executive Council Member (since 2015)

Wiener Dialoge der Medizinanthropologie | Vienna Dialogues in Medical Anthropology
Founding Member & Co-Organizer (since 2012)

AAA | American Anthropological Association
SMA | Society for Medical Anthropology
SCA | Society for Cultural Anthropology
EASA | European Association of Social Anthropologists
IASTAM | International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicines
AG Medical Anthropology der DGV
PHARMASIA Network | Social Studies of Herbal Pharmaceutical Industry in Asia
Nomad RSI | Research Unit


Current Anthropology
Medical Anthropology
Medicine Anthropology Theory (MAT)
Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Comparative Studies in Society and History (CSSH)
East Asian Science, Technology and Society
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Women’s Studies International Forum
Op. Cit: Revista del Centro de Investigaciones Historicas (University of Puerto Rico)


2014: Rubin Museum of Art exhibition “Bodies in Balance“: interactive section on contemporary Tibetan medicine in India
2011: sections on Tibetan medicine in Bißwanger-Heim, T. & E. Ernst (2011) Asiatische Heilkunde: Tradition, Anwendung, Heilsversprechen – Eine Bestandsaufnahme. Berlin: Stiftung Warentest, 263 pages

LECTURES, PAPERS, CONFERENCES and PANELS (selection, since 2006)

2018. Third International Conference on Tibetan Medicine (ICTM-3): Sowa Rigpa in Asia – A Quantitative Overview. (invited paper), February 26, CIHTS Sarnath, India

2017. Harvard Medical School, Third Annual Conference of the WFCMS Specialty Committee of Tibetan Medicine: From Local Health Tradition to Transnational Industry: The Alienation of Tibetan Medicine. (invited paper), October 7, Boston, USA

2017. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: Traditionelle Mongolische Medizin: Kontinuität und Wandel in globalem Kontext. (invited guest lecture), June 26, Munich, Germany

2017. Otoch Manramba Mongolian Medical University: Sowa Rigpa in Modern Asia: From traditional medicine to innovative industry. (invited guest lecture), March 16, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

2016. Oxford University ArgO-EMR Seminar, Botanical Ontologies in Asian Medicine: “The Pharmaceutical Assemblage: Rethinking Sowa Rigpa and the herbal pharmaceutical industry in Asia.” (invited lecture), November 9, Oxford, UK

2016. British Academy & Royal Anthropological Institute, Anthropology in Austria Day: “From Buddhist Deities to the Spirit of Capitalism: Tibetan Medicine and the Remaking of Inner Asia.” (invited paper), November 8, London, UK

2016. 100 Year Founding Anniversary of Men-Tsee-Khang, “Tibetan Medical Education Outside China.” (keynote speech), September 13, Lhasa, China

2016. IASTAM-India, First International Conference on Advances in Asian Medicine (ICAAM), Special RATIMED Symposium on Tibetan Medicine: “The Emerging Sowa Rigpa Industry in Asia.” (organizer), January 5, Pune, India

2016. IASTAM-India, First International Conference on Advances in Asian Medicine (ICAAM), “The Transnational Sowa Rigpa Industry in Asia.” (invited paper and opening address), January 5, Pune, India

2015. World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Tibetan Medicine Committee Inaugural Conference, “Pharmaceutical Assemblages: Assessing the Transnational Sowa Rigpa Industry in Asia” (invited paper), August 7-9, Xining, China

2015. Globhealth ERC Advanced Grant Conference, From International to Global: Knowledge, Diseases and the Postwar Government of Health, CNRS/ INSERM/ CERMES3, “From Scarcity to Profit: Traditional Medicine and Global Health” (invited paper), February 12-14, Paris, France

2014: National Rehabilitation and Early Detection Center, “From Traditional Medicine to Pharmaceutical Industry: The development of Sowa Rigpa in Mongolia, India, China and Bhutan” (invited lecture), December 3, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

2014: International Symposium, Institute for Social Anthropology & Department for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, “Transforming Tibetan Anatomy” (panel chair & welcome speech), June 12-13, Vienna, Austria

2014: Argo-EMR Workshop on The Transmission of Tibetan Medicine, University of Oxford, “Tibetan Medical Education in Exile” (invited paper), May 22-23, Oxford, UK

2014: National Conference on Medicinal Plants, Government of India (Council for Development of Rural Areas, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Dept. of AYUSH, Dept. of Biotechnology), “Assessing the Role of Materia Medica in Traditional Pharmaceutical Industries: The Case of Sowa Rigpa” (invited paper), February 21-22, Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, India

2014: Azim Premji University & St. John’s Research Institute, “The Development and Preservation of Tibetan Medicine in India” & “Re-assembling Tibetan Medicine” (invited lectures), February 10-11, Bengaluru, India

2013: Anthropological Atelier, Institute for Social Anthropology, “Rupture of Exile, Risks of Loss: Preserving Tibetan medical Knowledge in India” (invited paper), December 4-6, Vienna, Austria

2013: Wednesday Lecture, University of Vienna, “Re-Assembling Tibetan Medicine: the formation of a transnational Sowa Rigpa industry in contemporary India, China, Mongolia and Bhutan” (invited paper), December 4, Vienna, Austria

2012: AG Medical Anthropology International Conference, “The Interstitial Body: mapping the space between medicine and the nation” (invited panel chair and organizer), Nov 29-Dec 1, Vienna, Austria

2012: American Anthropological Association Conference, “Of National Bodies, Borders, and Medical Nations: rethinking the body politic” (invited double panel, chair, co-organizer & discussant), November 14-18, San Francisco, USA

2012: American Anthropological Association Conference, “Alternate Imaginaries: Tibetan medicine, ethical bodies and the modern nation” (invited paper), November 14-18, San Francisco, USA

2012: Universität Rostock, 6th Symposium of the Graduate School Cultural Encounters and the Discourse of Scholarship, “The Politics of Preservation and Loss: Tibetan medical knowledge in exile” (invited paper), September 27-29, Rostock, Germany

2011: Cardiff University, “Making a ‘Medical System’: Tibetan Medicine in Exile” (invited paper), January 21-22, Cardiff, UK

2010: Bhutan Exhibition, Wien Energie Haus, “Wie ‘wissenschaftlich’ ist die Tibetische Medizin? Beobachtungen zur Effektivität, Qualität und Überprüfbarkeit eines traditionellen Heilsystems” (invited lecture), August 25, Vienna, Austria

2008: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, “Marketing the Tibetan Cause: Tibetan Medicine between Business and Politics” (invited paper), March 13-14, Shimla, India

2008: French Institute of Pondicherry, “Shifting Registers of Illegitimacy: Tibetan Medicine in India” (invited paper), March 7-9, Pondicherry, India

2006: French Institute of Pondicherry, “The Institutionalization of Tibetan Medicine in the Indian Exile” (invited paper), May 30, Pondicherry, India


2017 (with Calum Blaikie): 9th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines (ICTAM9): Asian Medical Industries: Contemporary Perspectives on Traditional Pharmaceuticals. Panel organizer and chair, August 8, Kiel, Germany

2017 (with Harilal Madhavan): 9th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines: Gauging the Transnational Sowa Rigpa Industry: Patterns, Dynamics, and Modes of Production. August 8, Kiel, Germany

2017 (with Dagmar Wujastyk, Barbara Gerke & Katharina Sabernig): International Conference, Department of South Asian, Tibetan & Buddhist Studies (University of Vienna) and Institute for Social Anthropology (Austrian Academy of Sciences): Medicine and Yoga in South and Inner Asia: Body Cultivation, Therapeutic Intervention and the Sowa Rigpa Industry. Conference organizer and chair, August 1-3, Vienna, Austria

2017 (with Harilal Madhavan): International Conference on Medicine and Yoga in South and Inner Asia, University of Vienna & Austrian Academy of Sciences: The Emergence of a Traditional Mongolian Medicine Industry. August 2, Vienna, Austria

2017. Transfigurationen. Conference of AG Medical Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Switzerland, Vienna Dialogues in Medical Anthropology, University of Basel: Von Medizinsystemen zu Medizinindustrien: Medizinanthropologische Transfigurationen traditioneller asiatischer Medizin. February 17, Basel, Switzerland

2016: International Association for Tibet Studies (IATS) Conference, “Humanitarianism from Below: Tibetan Medicine and Nationalism in Global Context”, June 19-24, Bergen, Norway

2013: 8th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines, IASTAM, “Re-Assembling Tibetan Medicine: The Formation of a Transnational Sowa Rigpa Industry”, September 9-13, Sancheong, South Korea

2013: EASA-SMA Joint International Conference, “Engaging the World through Tibetan Pharmaceuticals”, June 12-14, Tarragona, Spain

2012: AG Medical Anthropology International Conference, “An Alternate Body Politic: Tibetan Medicine and Nationalism in Exile”, Nov 29-Dec 1, Vienna, Austria

2011: American Anthropological Association Conference, “When Experts Meet: the politics of theorizing the other”, November 16-20, Montreal, Canada

2011: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde Tagung, “Die Alchemie exil-tibetischer Identität: Anmerkungen zur pharmazeutischen und politischen Wirksamkeit tibetischer Pillen”, September 14-16, Vienna, Austria

2010: University of California, San Francisco, “Tibetan Medicine in Exile: the ethics, politics and science of cultural survival”, May 12, San Francisco, USA

2010: Austrian Academy of Sciences, “Of Potency and Impotence: Traditional Tibetan Medicine and Modern Quality Control”, March 25, Vienna, Austria

2009: 7th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines, IASTAM, “Joining Forces: The Marriage of Modern Science and Tibetan Medicine in Exile”, September 7-11, Thimpu, Bhutan

2009: 7th International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicines, IASTAM, “Is Tibetan Medicine ‘Indian’? The Recognition of Sowa Rigpa in India”, September 7-11, Thimpu, Bhutan

2006: American Anthropological Association Conference, “Ethics of Survival, Politics of Altruism: Tibetan Medicine in Exile”, November 15-19, San Jose, USA

2006: International Association for Tibet Studies (IATS) Conference, “The Identity Politics of the Dharamsala Men-Tsee-Khang in India”, Aug 27-Sept 2, Königswinter, Germany


2014: “Reassembling Tibetan Medicine: An ERC Project” Lange Nacht der Forschung, April 4, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna





2010: Media Training, IntoMedia – The Mediatraining Company, Vienna
2006: NLP Master Practitioner Course, NLP University, Santa Cruz, CA
2004: NLP Practitioner Course, NLP University, Santa Cruz, CA