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Ruth Kutalek
Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Ruth KutalekHead of Unit

Center for Public Health (Department of Social and Preventive Medicine)
Position: Associate Professor

T +43 1 40160 34607


Anthropology, Medical

Research interests

Anthropological perspectives on infectious diseases and in disaster response, Covid-19, Ebola Virus Disease, Lassa fever: occupational situation of health care workers; psycho-social situation of Ebola survivors; health seeking behavior in times of crisis.  

Access to health care for vulnerable populations (specifically migrants, refugees, certain ethnic groups)  

Health care workers on the move from resource-poor settings (“brain drain”)  

Diversity studies: Development of curricula in resource poor settings; transcultural competence in the medical curriculum  

Ethnopharmacology: geophagy (consumption of clay) and its implications for public health research in Africa and Asia

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

 Qualitative study designs (semi-structured and in-depth interviews; participatory research), Media Analysis, Applied Social Science Methods; Analysis with the software atlas.ti, using different theoretical frameworks, such as feminist and socio-political approaches 


Selected publications

  1. 2019 Jeleff M, Lehner L, Giles-Vernick T, Dückers M, Napier D, Jirovsky E, Kutalek R. Vulnerability assessment tools for infectious threats and antimicrobial resistance: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open 2019;9:e031944. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031944
  2. 2019 Giles-Vernick T, Kutalek R, Napier D, Kaawa-Mafigiri D et al. A new social sciences network for infectious threats. Lancet Infectious Diseases 19; 461-463.
  3. 2018 Kutalek R; Jirovsky E, Grabovac I: From macro- to micro-factors in health: Social science approaches in research on sexually transmitted infections. PLoS Medicine 15(1): e1002490.
  4. 2017 Mayrhuber S; Niederkrotenthaler T, Kutalek R: We are Survivors and not a Virus: Content Analysis of Media Reporting on Ebola Survivors in Liberia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(8): e0005845.
  5. 2015 Kutalek R; Wang S; Falla M; Wesseh S; Gilbert J: Ebola interventions: Listen to communities. Lancet Global Health 22. Jan,