About

Gideon Lasco, MD, PhD
is a physician, medical anthropologist, and writer. He is senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman's Department of Anthropology, research fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University's Development Studies Program, and honorary fellow at Hong Kong University's Centre for Criminology. He is currently based in Mexico City where he is doing comparative research on COVID-19 responses, and language studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.   

He obtained his medical (MD) and master's degrees (MSc in Medical Anthropology) from the UP College of Medicine, and his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. A recipient of the Palanca Award for Essay, he maintains a weekly column on health, culture, and national affairs in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, as well as a column in SAPIENS - the online anthropology magazine - that focuses on the relationships of humans with other living and non-living things. 

Dr. Lasco's current research projects include studying medical populism during times of health crises, documenting people's evolving perceptions and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing the impacts of the drug wars in the Philippines and Asia, charting the meanings and materialities of human stature in the Philippines, understanding barriers to hypertension care, and making sense of young people's bodily and chemical practices (see Google Scholar for a complete list of scholarly publications). He was visiting PhD researcher at the Washington University of St. Louis (2015) and National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute (2016); visiting faculty at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil where he taught a course in Medical Anthropology (2019); and visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Department of Communication (2021). An advocate of health reform, Dr. Lasco was selected as an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity in Southeast Asia for the year 2019. 

Beyond his public health and medical anthropology work, he is also involved in environmental research and advocacy, building not just on his academic background but his lifelong pursuit of mountain climbing. He is a trustee of Centre for Sustainability, an environmental non-profit organisation based in Palawan and of the Philippine Center for Investigate Journalism (PCIJ), as well as Vice President for Luzon of Ugnayang Pang-Agham Tao (UGAT), the national association of anthropologists in the Philippines. 

His collection of essays, The Philippines Is Not A Small Country, was published by the Ateneo de Manila Press in September 2020, and his ethnographic monograph on human stature, Height Matters, The Making, Meanings, and Materialities of Human Stature in the Philippines, is scheduled for publication with the University of the Philippines Press in 2021. He is also the editor of Drugs and Philippines Society, a forthcoming volume from Ateneo de Manila Press featuring different perspectives on drugs in the country. 

Updated October 2021