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Janis F. Hutchinson

M.P.H., School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 1997
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1984
M.A., University of Alabama, 1980
B.A., University of Alabama, 1975

Curriculum Vitae

Fields of Specialization

Medical Anthropology; African-American Health in Contemporary Populations; Condom Use; Race, Racism, and Health


Professor, Department of Anthropology, The University of Houston, 2006 - present.


Conducted an oral history among African Americans and Creoles in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Over a hundred people were interviewed between 2000 and 2002. Through examination of these oral histories and analysis of primary and secondary sources, I am investigating the history, development and culture of Africans, Creoles, and African Americans from 1722 to the 1960s. This study focuses on traditional medicines and health, plantation life/sharecropping, education, local politics, race/culture, foodways, agriculture, leisure time and social activities as well as daily life 2005-present.

We investigated patients’ understanding and knowledge of personalized medicine, and the process of decision-making regarding pharmacogenomics testing and targeted therapeutics to understand how patients value receiving pharmacogenomics-based care, 2007-2009.

I worked on the Human Genome Project where I am examined the impact of new genetic information on health beliefs of Indian Americans in Houston, Texas. I conducted focus groups to engage community members in discussions about: 1) human genetic variation research and the construction of an international haplotype map; 2) social meanings attached to racial and ethnic identities; and 3) the potential for genetic variation research and haplotype mapping to affect how members of the community interpret those racial and ethnic identities.

Publications: Books



Hutchinson, Janis Faye, Editor, CULTURAL PORTRAYALS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS: CREATING AN ETHNIC/RACIAL IDENTITY. Westport, Conn.:Bergin and Garvey, 1997.

Hutchison Janis, AFRICAN AMERICAN ORAL REMEMBRANCES IN NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA, Cane River Heritage Area, in preparation.

Publications (23): Selected Articles

Hutchinson, Janis Faye and Richard Sharp, “Karma, Reincarnation, and Medicine: Indian Views on Biomedicine.

Issa, A.M., Tufail, W., Hutchinson, J., Tenorio, J., and Poonam, M. “Assessing Patient Readiness for the Clinical Adoption of Personalized Medicine. Accepted Genomic Medicine, 2008.

Patterson, Thomas, Hutchinson, Janis Faye, and Alan Goodman, “Minorities in Anthropology: 1973 versus 2008, Progress or Illusion. Anthropology News 49(4): 23, 2008.

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, “Medical Racism.” In: Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Ed. John Hartwell Moore. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, Pp292-298., 2008.

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, “The Past, Present, and Future of Race and Health. Anthropology News, November, 46(8): 13, 2005.

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, “Female Identity and the Construction of Condom Use among Young African-American Women.” In: Culture and Condom, Peter Lange Publisher, Karen Anjar and Thuy DaoJensen (eds), Pp 131-162, 2005.

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, “HIV and the Evolution of Infectious Diseases.” In: Learning from HIV and AIDS, Melissa Parker, George Ellison, and Cathy Campbell (eds.), pp 28-55. Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, “The Biology and Evolution of HIV.” Annual Review of Anthropology 30:85-108, 2001.

Hutchinson, J. "Quality of Life in Ethnic Groups," In: Quality of Life and Pharmacoeconomics in Clinical Trials. Second Edition. B. Spilker (ed.) Philadephia:Lippincott-Raven Publishers, pp 587-593, 1996.

Hutchinson, J., "AIDS and Racism in America." Journal of the National Medical Association, 84(2):119-124, 1992.

Publications: Book Reviews

Hutchinson, Janis Faye “Gender, Race, Class, & Health: Intersectional Approaches” by Amy J. Schulz and Leith Mullings. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 2008.

Hutchinson, Janis “In the Blood: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race” by Melbourne Tapper. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 14(4): 627-628, 2000.

Hutchinson, Janis “Understanding and Applying Medical Anthropology, Edited by Peter J. Brown,” American Journal of Human Biology 12(3): 432-433, 2000.

Hutchinson, J. "From TB to AIDS: Epidemics among Urban Blacks since 1900, by David McBride," Medical Anthropology Quarterly 7(2):221-223, 1993.

Hutchinson, J. "Disease in Populations in Transition: Anthropological and Epidemiological Perspectives," Edited by Alan C. Swedlund and George J. Armelagos," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 86(2):314-316, 1991.

Hutchinson, J. "Health and the Rise of Civilization by Mark Nathan Cohen," Human Biology, 62(3):451-453, 1990.

Hutchinson, J. "The African Exchange: Toward a Biological History of Black People by K.F.Kiple," American Anthropologist 91(2):513-514, 1989.

Selected Presentations at Professional Meetings

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, Race, Admixture, and Disease: What’s Real? Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, 2005.

Hutchinson, Janis, Race and Health: Past, Present, and Future, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, 2004

Hutchinson, Janis Faye, The Relationship Between Biological and Medical Anthropology in the Study of African-American Health, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, 2002.

Hutchinson, Janis “To What Race Do You Belong? Are You Sure?” In the conference entitled Toward Higher Levels of Analysis: Progress and Promise in Research on social and Cultural Dimensions of Health. National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C., 2000. This forum was an opportunity to discuss what race and ethnicity mean from a biological anthropology perspective. The conference consisted of presentations and small group “work” time where we outlined how concepts such as race, ethnicity, SES and gender are best used in health research and outlined future research directions for NIH.

Working Group Member, First Community Consultation on the Responsible Collection and Use of Samples for Genetic Research, National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, 2000.

Professional Service

Co-Chair, Commission on Race and Racism in Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2008-2010.

Advisory Board Member, American Anthropological Association for “Understanding Race and Human Variability: A Public Education Program.” The education program will consist of 1) a traveling museum exhibit, 2) website, and 3) printed publications. We are currently developing the traveling museum exhibit. This program is being developed by the AAA with initial funding from the Ford Foundation 2001-present.

Organized a Presidential Panel for the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, DC: Bringing the Past into the Present: Race and Health in Anthropological Perspective, Washington, DC, 2005.

Organized a panel entitled: Exploring the Intersection of Race, Human Variation, and Health. Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, 2005.

Organized the Scientific Symposium: From Double Helix to Human Sequence and Beyond. Sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Energy. A Satellite Conference at the University of Houston sponsored by the Anthropology Department, the Biology and Biochemistry Department, CLASS, and the Division of Research, 2003.

Board Organizer (Association of Black Anthropologists) for the 2002 International Conference entitled “Dialogues on the Diaspora: Blackness in a Globalized World”, Panama City, Panama.

Working group member, “The First Community Consultation on the Responsible Collection and Use of Samples for Genetic Research,” sponsored by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Human Genome Research Institute, Fogarty International Center, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Science Foundation; Bethesda, Maryland, 2000. The focus of the meeting was to discuss and provide input on the best approaches to minimize risks to populations whose members are invited to participate in genetic research.

Association of Black Anthropologists’ Program Chair, International Cultural Conference in Cuba: History, Culture and Society in the African Diaspora, Havana, Matanzas and Santiago de Cuba, July 23-30, 2000.

University Committees

Faculty Senate, University of Houston, 2009.

Chair, Search Committee, Director of African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 2001-2002.

Search Committee Member, Director of African American Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 2000

Search Committee Member, Women’s Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, 2000.

Search Committee Member, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, 2000.

Dean Search Committee, College of Social Sciences, 1999.

Ombudsperson, Sexual Harassment Board, The University of Houston, 1994-1996.