Bio


Heather Dron, MPH, PhD, is a historian of medicine and public health who studies pregnancy, prenatal care, and research on infant disability. She completed her PhD in history of health science at UCSF in 2016. At the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, she is a fellow supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program. Her research interests include the history and ethics of research and prenatal care intended to prevent infant disability, ethical conduct of clinical trials, and perceptions of risk or uncertainty associated with environmental science and genomic technologies.

Honors & Awards


  • Fellowship in the History of American Obstetrics and Gynecology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Fall 2016)

Professional Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California San Francisco (2016)
  • Master in Public Health, Emory University, Global Health (2007)

Stanford Advisors


Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Heather Dron, MPH, PhD, is a historian of medicine and public health who studies pregnancy, prenatal care, and research on infant disability. Unifying diverse research themes is a deep-seated ethical concern about the uses of science and medicine in efforts intended to improve the public’s health.

Her dissertation in the history of health science was on midcentury mobilization of teratology research, studying environmental causes of birth defects. She juxtaposed narratives of infant disability linked to prenatal exposures originating in teratology research and in environmental health sciences.

Her current research engages with parent and patient perceptions of reproductive health technologies and disease risks, particularly genomic diagnostics for pediatric and prenatal conditions. In addition, she is interested in industrial influence and scientific uncertainty, how patents affect access to drugs, and the ethical conduct and inclusion of women in clinical trials.

2019-20 Courses