About Elisa (E.J.) Sobo
E. J. Sobo, a socio-cultural anthropologist, specializes in health, illness, and medicine. Her areas of interest include biomedical and other medical cultures, organizational issues in healthcare, patient-provider communication, disparities and cultural competence in health care, health-related stigma and identity, risk perception, reproductive and sexual health, childhood and child health, nutrition and foodways, qualitative methods (including both ethnographic and rapid assessment methods), and Jamaican culture. Her most recent work concerns how ethnomedical understandings about healthy child development affect educational strategies and standards. She also has worked recently on the question of pediatric vaccination, and is currently developing a project concerning parents’ use of cannabis-based therapies for children with intractable epilepsy.
In the News
- Click here for media coverage of some of Dr. Sobo’s vaccination research (and click here for Dr. Sobo’s response)
- 'Anthropology in the Public Sector' Interview
- Op-ed commentary on elementary education: "What can slow schools teach us?"
- BBC interview regarding celibacy in cross-cultural perspective:
Dr. Sobo has been with San Diego State University since 2005. In addition to her role as a professor in the department of anthropology, she is also on the faculty at the Institute for Public Health in San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health, and at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. She is a faculty member of the Joint (SDSU/UCSD) Global Health PhD Program.
Dr. Sobo has previously served as a faculty member at the University of Durham in the UK and at New Mexico State University. Dr. Sobo’s first academic job was as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arizona. In addition to academia, Dr. Sobo has worked in clinical trials (in Cancer Prevention and Control at UCSD, where she was San Diego site director and a co-investigator for the National Study of Nutrition and Health) as well as in hospital settings (at Children’s Hospital San Diego, where she was an in-house research scientist, and with the Veterans Health Administration, where she worked within the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative or QUERI program). She also had done extensive consulting.
Dr. Sobo earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at UCSD (1990). She received post-doctoral training in medical anthropology at Case Western Reserve University (1991-1993).