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Staff Profile

Professor Holger Maehle,,, Ph.D.

Professor/Director of UG Studies in the Department of Philosophy
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 46557
Professor, History of Medicine and Disease in the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40701

Contact Professor Holger Maehle


Andreas-Holger Maehle was born on 9 April 1957 in Siegen, Germany. He studied Medicine at the University of Bonn (1976-83), was awarded a Dr. med. (Bonn, 1983), served as a military medical officer (1983-84) and was an assistant at the Institute for the History of Medicine, University of Göttingen (1984-1990). He received his habilitation and venia legendi in History of Medicine with the Medical Faculty, Göttingen (1990) and served as Lecturer in History of Medicine, University of Göttingen (1990-91). Moving to England, he was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, University College London (1991-94) and a Wellcome Trust University Award Holder and Research Fellow at Durham University (1994-96). He received his Ph.D. from University College London in 1996 and went on to be Reader in History of Medicine, Durham University (1996-2000). Since 2000 he has been Professor of History of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Department of Philosophy, Durham University, and since 2001 in addition Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University. He serves on the advisory board of the journal Gesnerus and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Medical History. He is a Member of the American Association for the History of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is the author of 5 monographs: 'Johann Jakob Wepfer (1620-1695) als Toxikologe' (Verlag Sauerlaender 1987), 'Kritik und Verteidigung des Tierversuchs: Die Anfaenge der Diskussion im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert' (Franz Steiner Verlag 1992), 'Drugs on Trial: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation in the Eighteenth Century' (Rodopi 1999), 'Doctors, Honour and the Law: Medical Ethics in Imperial Germany (Palgrave Macmillan 2009), and 'Contesting Medical Confidentiality: Origins of the Debate in the United States, Britain, and Germany' (University of Chicago Press 2016). With Cay Pruell and Robert Halliwell he co-authored 'A Short History of the Drug Receptor Concept' (Palgrave Macmillan 2009). With Lutz Sauerteig he edited a special issue of Medical History (vol. 56/2, 2012) on Albert Moll, and with Heather Wolffram a special issue of the Royal Society journal Notes and Records on the history of hypnotism (vol. 71/2, 2017).

His current research is on 19th- and 20th-century medical ethics, especially in Britain.

He would be happy to supervise new PhD students who would like to do research on topics in the history of medicine and medical ethics.

OFFICE HOURS: Mondays, 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm, or by appointment (Research Leave in Michaelmas Term 2018).

Research Groups

Department of Philosophy

  • History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
  • History of Philosophy

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Research Projects

Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease

  • Law and Ethics in the Issue of Medical Confidentiality in England and Germany, 1871-1933
  • The Impact of the Receptor Concept

Research Interests

  • Ethical issues in the history of medicine
  • History of medicine and the life sciences
  • History of pharmacology
  • History of stem cell research

Teaching Areas

  • Biomedical Ethics Past and Present (33 hours/year.)
  • Ethics, Medicine & History (14 hours/year.)
  • History & Theory of Medicine (22 hours/year.)

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Edited Journal

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