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Dr Vivienne Lo
23 Gordon Square, G03
History Department
Gower Street
Tel: 2076793605
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Dept of History
  • Faculty of S&HS

Director: UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity.  

Senior Lecturer: History Department. 

Visiting Professor: Peking University Health Sciences Centre (2015-16)

1993-98: Phd SOAS 
1987-91: Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge Part 1 (1st); SOAS BA (1st class Hons)

Fellow, Institute of Health and Human Development, University of East London 2008-2012
Honorary Board Member: IASTAM
Founder Editor/Editorial Board, Asian Medicine: tradition and modernity
2001-10 Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine/Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
1998 Research Fellow, China Academy of Social Sciences, Centre for the Study of Bamboo and Silk Books, Beijing
1998-2001 Wellcome Fellow, SOAS
1977-79 PA to Managing Director: Fund for Research into Developing Africa, Africa Centre
1975-7 PA Accounts Virgin Records (Holdings)

Research Summary

In recent decades there has been a revolution in the field of research into both early and mediaeval Chinese medicine, partly driven by texts and artefacts recovered from tombs and other repositories. I have translated and analysed manuscript texts excavated from a tomb in Hubei ( sealed ca. 186 BC), that describe an early phase in the development of acupuncture, and therapeutic exercise. Manuscripts recovered from a Buddhist library on the Silk Road and archived mainly at the British Library and BNF Paris provide another vantage point from which to consider issues of continuity and change in medical cultures over a millennia or more. I have also created an on-line database of early Chinese medical imagery, and have published widely on the subject. More recent interests include the transmission and translation of medical texts from China to late medieval Persia. Current book projects include a history of food and medicine in China.

Teaching Summary

UG Courses

 History of Asian Medicine (since 2002)

Ancient and Medieval China (survey course since 2013)

MA courses

Classical Chinese (since 2002)

Convenor: MA Programme China Health and Humanity (since 2012)


Nancy Holroyde Downing (The Mysteries of Tongue Diagnosis)

David Dear (Self Cultivation and Identity in China)

Takaki Nishiyama (The International Legal System in East Asia)

Di Lu (The Transnational History of the Caterpillar Fungus)

Dolly Yang (Daoyin Exercises in Zhubing yuanhou lun)

Penelope Barrett (Translating Medical Worlds: Bernard Emms Read)

Second Supervisor:

Sarah Hanney (History)

Marianne Datiles (Pharmacy)

Tyler Pham (Anthropology)


Michael Stanley-Baker 2012 (Doctors and Daoists: the role of medicine in Six dynasties Shangqing Daoism)

Theresia Hofer 2011 (Tibetan Medicine on the Margins)

Academic Background
1998 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Chinese studies School of Oriental and African Studies
1991 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Chinese studies School of Oriental and African Studies
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