I began my interest in Asian religion and medicine as an undergraduate, majoring in Anthropology and Cognitive Science and minoring in East Asian Studies at the University of Virginia. After graduating in 1996, I lived in Asia for four years — over two years in Thailand, with extended stays in India, China, and Indonesia as well. During this time, I trained as a practitioner of Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM), and explored interests in hatha-yoga and other Asian healing modalities. I also participated in extended stays at Buddhist meditation centers and monasteries in Northeast Thailand and India, including a summer as ananāgārika (white-robed monastic resident) in a Thai Forest-tradition monastery. I returned to the University of Virginia in 2002 to pursue a Master’s Degree in East Asian Studies. My thesis (defended in 2005, and published as a book Traditional Thai Medicine) explored the cultural influences that led to the creation of modern TTM. In 2005, I entered the Ph.D. program in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, where I focused on the relationship between Buddhism and medicine in medieval China. Since the completion of my doctorate in 2010, my research and writing has continued to focus on the history and contemporary relationship between Buddhism and medicine. I joined the faculty at Abington College in 2010, and I have been a humanities fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. I am active in various Asian Studies organizations in the Philadelphia area and internationally.

Academic positions

  • 2016–present, Associate Professor of Asian History and Religious Studies, The Abington College of the Penn State University
  • 2010–2016, Assistant Professor  of Asian History and Religious Studies, Abington College
  • 2013 (Fall semester), Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow, Religion Department, Duke University
  • 2011-12, Penn Humanities Forum Mellon Regional Faculty Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2009–10, Instructor, Depts. of History and Religious Studies, Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY)
  • 2008–09, Visiting scholar, Dharma Drum Buddhist College and Academia Sinica Institute of History & Philology (Taiwan)
  • 2007–08, Instructor, Expository Writing Program and Dept. of History of Science, Medicine, & Technology, Johns Hopkins University

Leadership & editorial positions


  • Ph.D., History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2010. Dissertation title: “Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China: Disease, Healing, and the Body in Crosscultural Translation (2nd to 8th Centuries C.E.).” [Dissertation Review; revised version published in 2014 by University of Pennsylvania Press]. Graduate fields: History of religion and medicine in China; history of religion and medicine in India; history of medicine in the West; Chinese history.
  • M.A., East Asian Studies, University of Virginia, 2005Thesis title: “Thai Medicine Reconsidered: ‘Royal’ and ‘Rural’ Practitioners and the Struggle to Define a Tradition.” (Revised version published in 2007 by Hohm Press; 2nd edition 2015 White Lotus Press.)
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1996Majors: Anthropology, Cognitive Science. Minor: East Asian Studies.

Major honors, awards, and grants

  • 2018, Teaching Transformation & Innovation Grant, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
  • 2017, Senior Research Fellowship, Leipzig University
  • 2017, Abington College Chief Ogontz Award (i.e., highest award given to faculty by student body)
  • 2016, Abington College Faculty Senate Scholar Award (i.e., “Scholar of the Year”)
  • 2015, Abington College Diversity Award
  • 2015, New Media Consortium Idea Lab Winner for interdisciplinary course on Visualization
  • 2014–15, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence Project Grantee
  • 2014–17, Global Research Network Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (co-recipient of 3-year $230K research fellowship)
  • 2013, Duke University Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellowship
  • 2011–12, Penn Humanities Forum Mellon Regional Faculty Fellowship
  • 2009–10, Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2009–10, Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (declined)
  • 2008–09, Fulbright IIE Taiwan
  • 2008, Fulbright Critical Language Extension Award

Invited talks & presentations

  • 2019: Binghamton University, Huntington Library, University of Hawaii.
  • 2018: National Museum of Thailand, University of Montréal, University of Heidelberg.
  • 2017: University of Michigan, Dartmouth, Duke, University of Utah, Kyung Hee University, Leipzig University, Columbia University, Ottawa University, UPenn
  • 2016: UCLA, Columbia, University of Toronto, Goucher College, Leipzig University, UPenn
  • 2015: Georgetown, Harvard, University of British Columbia, University of Michigan
  • 2014: Yale, Bowdoin, University of Miami, Southern Methodist University, University of Leeds, Washington University in St. Louis, Wonkwang University
  • 2013: Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, Donghwasa Temple (organized by Columbia University), UPenn, West Chester University, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
  • 2012: University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, University of Toronto, McMaster University, UPenn, Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science
  • 2011 and earlier: Duke, West Chester University, Cornell, Won Institute of Graduate Studies, Academia Sinica

(Full CV available upon request.)