Dr Karen McNamara

Postdoctoral Fellow Asia Research Institute National University of Singapore
Fellow Tembusu College National University of Singapore
(+65) 6516 4219 (Office)

Dr. Karen McNamara is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Science, Technology, and Society Cluster of the Asia Research Institute at NUS, and at Tembusu College.

She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Syracuse University. Her research in medical anthropology examines the intersection of pharmaceuticals and traditional medicine in Bangladesh, neoliberal governance and care, and health movements. She is also beginning new research on medical travel in South and Southeast Asia.


The Social Lives of Drugs
Biomedicine and Singapore Society
The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.