Gideon Lasco
 is a physician and medical anthropologist specializing in drug issues and contemporary health crises. Based in Manila, 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 fellow-at-large at Hong Kong University's Centre for Criminology. 

He obtained his bachelor’s (BSc) and medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM). After practicing medicine briefly as a resident physician in his home province of Laguna, he pursued a social medicine track, receiving an MSc in Medical Anthropology from UPM and a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. During his postdoctoral studies, he also earned a master's degree (AM) in History of Science, major in History of Medicine, from Harvard University. 

Among various international engagements throughout his career, he was a visiting medical student at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo; visiting PhD researcher at the Washington University of St. Louis and National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute; visiting faculty at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil; and teaching fellow at Harvard College. He has given keynotes and lectures at Columbia University, La Trobe University, Humboldt University, University of Toronto, among others, and has presented in numerous social science and public health conferences from Osaka and Barcelona to Melbourne and Bogota. 

Lasco's research projects have yielded over 60 journal articles and book chapters in the past six years, including in The Lancet (as part of a series on racism and health), Current Anthropology, Cultural AnthropologySocial Science & Medicine, Anthropology & MedicineMedical Anthropology Quarterly, Sociology of Health & Illness, Philippine Studies, International Journal Drug Policy, along with a range of interdisciplinary journals from The Journal of Sex Research to Open Theology.  They have also led to two academic books: Drugs and Philippines Society (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2021), an edited volume which features critical perspectives on drug use and drug policy in the country, as well as Height Matters (University of the Philippines Press, 2023), an ethnographic monograph on human stature. Another book, Face Shield Nation, is forthcoming with the Ateneo de Manila University Press. 

As an applied anthropologist and public health practitioner, Lasco has also served as consultant for organizations like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). In 2019, he was selected by the Equity Initiative as an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity in Southeast Asia. He is a Board Member of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) and part of the editorial boards of PLOS Global Public Health and Human Organization

Beyond his work in medical anthropology and public health, he is also involved in environmental and civic initiatives, 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). He also 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 species. Recently, he also co-hosted a podcast on drug issues called 'Tokhang sa Tokhang', after having guested in podcasts like that of Howie Severino and Ethan Nadelman, as well as in WNYC and The Lancet Voice

For his scholarly work, he received the Virginia A. Miralao Award for Research Excellence (VAMERA) the inaugural Research Excellence Award from the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, as well as the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship from the Drug Policy Alliance. He also received a Palanca Award for Essay, among other citations for his creative writing. In 2022, he was named Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) and one of the Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the Philippines; that year, he also received the Philippines' National Book Award for The Philippines Is Not A Small Country, cited by The Guardian as one of the 'books than explain the world'.

Updated May 2024