April 15, 2018

Announcing New Medical Ethics Fellows

The Division of Medical Ethics is pleased to welcome three new post-doctoral fellows who will be arriving in August.


Cara Kiernan Fallon is completing her PhD in the History of Science at Harvard University.Her dissertation examines the intersection of aging, health, and disability in the twentieth-century United States, focusing on the impact of medical interventions on and cultural attitudes toward aging bodies. Her research has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson’s Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, the Charles Warren Center for American Studies, and the Consortium for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. Prior to her doctoral work, she earned a master’s degree in public health at the Yale School of Public Health and completed her undergraduate degree at Yale University in the History of Science/History of Medicine, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. As a Fellow in Biomedical Ethics at Penn, her postdoctoral research will focus on the ethics of delaying aging processes, ethical and policy issues of caregiving, and questions of quality of life in old age.




Isabel M. Perera is completing her PhD in Political Science at Penn. She employs comparative and historical research methods to study public policy, especially in the area of mental health. As a doctoral student, she is examining the comparative political economy of psychiatric service provision in France and the United States, drawing conclusions for processes of deinstitutionalization around the world. Support for this research came from the university's Queen Elizabeth Scholarship and Hertford College (Oxford), the Embassy of France in the United States and the Sciences Po Center for Organizational Sociology, and the Brocher Foundation. Her objective for the fellowship is to consider the implications of her findings for normative debates on the appropriate allocation of resources in mental health.




Isabel Gabel works on the history of biology and the human sciences in the 20th century, with a particular focus on concepts of history, environment, and contingency across disciplines. Her first book manuscript, Biology and the Historical Imagination: Science and Humanism in Twentieth-Century France, provides a genealogy of the relationship between developments in the fields of evolutionary theory, genetics, and embryology, and the emergence of structuralism and posthumanism in France. Her work has appeared in Perspectives on Europe and History of the Human Sciences.  At Penn she will be focusing on contemporary epigenetics research within the broader history of ideas about individuality and environment, as well as on the normative value of non-knowledge or ignorance in this research. From 2015-2018, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine and the Department of History at the University of Chicago. In 2011-2012 she was a Predoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She received her PhD in history at Columbia University in 2015.






Ms. Fallon and Ms. Perera will enter the Penn Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics. Dr. Gabel will enter the NHGRI T32-funded Penn Fellowship in the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genetics and Genomics.

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