Mara Buchbinder

Mara Buchbinder Faculty Member at UNC Department of Social Medicine

Assistant Professor, Social Medicine
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Anthropology

PhD 2010, Anthropology, University of California - Los Angeles
MA 2005, Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University
AB 2002, Psychological & Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College


Mara Buchbinder, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UNC – Chapel Hill. Dr. Buchbinder is a medical anthropologist specializing in the ethnography of clinical encounters. Her research interests include the anthropology of biomedicine; clinical communication and the physician-patient relationship; families, health, and illness; language, narrative, and healing; science and technology studies; and medical ethics.

Dr. Buchbinder's first book, Saving Babies? The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening (University of Chicago Press, 2013), co-authored with Stefan Timmermans, describes the recent expansion and standardization of state-mandated newborn screening programs after decades of measured growth. The book draws on three years of ethnographic research to examine how parents and geneticists together resolve multiple diagnostic, prognostic, and epistemic uncertainties associated with the introduction of new screening technologies. It focuses on the collaborative activities needed to bridge the gaps between technological scripts and unexpected outcomes, particularly the work undertaken to resolve scientific anomalies, manage families' expectations in clinical encounters, and integrate screening activities into the broader healthcare infrastructure. Dr. Buchbinder is currently working on a second book project based on 18 months of fieldwork in a multidisciplinary pediatric pain clinic that explores how clinicians, patients, and their families make sense of chronic, unexplained pain.

Curriculum Vitae

Office: 341A MacNider


Phone: 919.843.6881

Fax: 919.966.7499

Post: Mara Buchbinder / CB #7240, Department of Social Medicine / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7240