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Department of Philosophy


Professor Holger Maehle,,, Ph.D.

Professor/HPSM MA Director/Director of Research in the Department of Philosophy
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 46557
Professor, History of Medicine and Disease in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40701
Professor, History of Medicine and Disease in the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease

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 boards of the journals Medicine Studies and Gesnerus and is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Notes and Records of the Royal Society and 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 4 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), and 'Doctors, Honour and the Law: Medical Ethics in Imperial Germany (Palgrave Macmillan 2009). With Cay Pruell and Robert Halliwell he co-authored 'A Short History of the Drug Receptor Concept' (Palgrave Macmillan 2009), and with Lutz Sauerteig he recently edited a special issue of Medical History (vol. 56/2, 2012) on Albert Moll.

His current research is on 19th- and 20th-century medical ethics, in particular medical confidentiality and patient privacy.

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. 

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

Edited Journal

Journal Article

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Selected Grants

  • 2007: KNOWLEDGE, ETHICS AND REPRESENTATION (£307540.00 from The Wellcome Trust)

Staff by Research Cluster

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