Dr Michael Bresalier

Dr Michael Bresalier

Lecturer in the History of Medicine, History

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 513203

Research Links

Office - 137
First Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


I am a lecturer in the history of medicine, with expertise in the social, cultural, economic, and global dimensions of health and disease in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I trained in social history (University of Ottawa) environmental studies (York University, Toronto), and the history and philosophy of science (Cambridge). Before joining the Department, I was Wellcome Research Fellow at the Department of History, King’s College London and previously held research and teaching posts at Imperial College, the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol.  

Areas Of Expertise

  • Epidemics and infections in the modern world
  • Global history of modern medicine
  • Animals in modern science and medicine
  • Historical perspectives of hunger and famine
  • History of international health
  • Medicine, disease and empire

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

History of modern medicine, 1790-present
Disease in history
Colonial, post-colonial and global medicine
Inequalities in health and medicine
Modern medical bodies
Geopolitics of hunger and humanitarianism
The social, ecological and political consequences of the ‘livestock revolution’


I have researched and published on nineteenth and twentieth century British medical science and its institutions and their role in the making of the modern state, military and empire. My current research examines how international health organisations have shaped knowledge and experiences of health and disease in the twentieth century. I am especially interested in the role of United Nations agencies  (WHO, FAO, UNICEF, etc) in tackling problems of hunger, nutrition and infectious disease in humans and animals, and with how these problems have been crucial to projects of development, human rights, and humanitarianism.


Co-director of the Medical Humanities Research Centre.