Ph.D., Science & Technology Studies (2005), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S., Science & Technology Studies (2002), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.A., Psychology-Based Human Relations and French (1998), Connecticut College
Jill A. Fisher, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Social Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Fisher is a social scientist with a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and expertise in medical sociology. Her research interests include social studies of the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials, political economy, healthcare and social inequalities, and research ethics.
Dr. Fisher’s research and teaching interests center upon the politics of medicine, science, and technology in the United States. Her NIH-funded research examines the organization of pharmaceutical clinical trials, especially drug studies that are conducted in private practices and for-profit research settings in the U.S. Currently, more than 75% of pharmaceutical research is conducted in private practices and for-profit research sites instead of academic medical centers. This relocation of clinical trials to the private sector has served to fill existing healthcare gaps in the U.S. by providing (limited) medical services to those who are uninsured. Her 2009 book on the topic – Medical Research for Hire: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials – documents and critically evaluates pharmaceutical drug studies as an alternative both for physicians and patients to standard medical care. She is conducting ongoing research and working on a new book project about the participation of healthy human subjects in early phase pharmaceutical clinical trials.