About me

Dr Ignacia Arteaga

I graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile with a BA (Hons) in Sociology, and completed an MSc in Medical Anthropology (2014) and a PhD in Anthropology (2018) at University College London.

My scholarship engages with techno-scientific practices in cancer research and care in the UK. I look at the development and implementation of cancer technologies, such as molecular diagnostic devices, genomic risk-stratification algorithms, body-changing surgical techniques, chemotherapeutic agents and immunotherapies. I analyse the practices and temporalities that structure these domains as well as the myriad subjectivities and social effects that emerge as a result. Conceptually, I am interested in the potential of techno-scientific practices for bringing about new ontological realities that redefine cancer disease categories and lived experiences vis-à-vis notions of ‘engagement’ and ‘progress’ through which British residents are persuaded to take part in biomedical developments.

My research has been funded by the Chilean National Agency for Research and Development, the Chilean Research Security Fund, the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, Cancer Research UK, the Philomathia Foundation, and the Alliance for the Early Detection of Cancer.

Since joining the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2018, I have taught a range of lectures and seminars, has co-organised multidisciplinary academic events, and have been the co-investigator in a series of research grants.

My post-doctoral research, funded by the Philomathia Foundation, constitutes one of the first in-depth anthropological studies of the scientific development and social effects of early cancer detection technologies. I explore the interfaces between scientists’ laboratory practices, the clinical worlds created through the translation of detection technologies, and the experiences of research participants enrolled in associated clinical trials to test those technologies.

I am also Research Fellow at Robinson College.

You can read my CV here:

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