Andrea Sankar

Andrea Sankar

Chair, Director Medical Anthropology, Co-Director SWAN

313 577 6961

313 577 5958 (fax)

3043 FAB

Andrea Sankar

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Medical Anthropology

  • Care

  • Environmental Health

  • Conceptions of the "Good Life" and life course goals for Middle-Western working class adults.

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • B.A. University of Michigan-Chinese
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan-Anthropology
  • NIMH Post-doc University of California-San Fransisco
  • NIA Post-doc University of Michigan

Awards and Grants

  • 2012-2014.      Co-PI.  Erb Foundation, Improving community awareness for Detroit River fish

                            consumption advisories, $95,000.


    2011-2013.      PI Bio-monitoring of Persistent Toxic Substances in Michigan Urban Fish Eaters:

                Venue Based Sampling Michigan Department of Community Health, $202,500


    2006-2009.      PI Rwanda-Prevention for Positives: Intervention-linked Research Targeting HIV infected

                            People USAID, $97,000.


    2005-2006,     Co-investigator, “Patient Provider Communication and Outcomes in HIV Care”, Agency for Health Research and Quality, AHRQ-01-0012 .


    2004-2007,      PI HAART Minority Supplement, NIH 3 RO1 AI04113, $87,757.00


    2004-2006,      PI, “Physician/ Patient Communication in HIV+ African Americans’ Adherence to ART” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease., RO1 AI 49113,  $137,113.


    2001-2006,      PI, “HAART Adherence among HIV+ African Americans,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, # RO1 AI 49113-01, $3,119,668.


    2001-2002,      CoPI “Overcoming the Digital Divide: African American Use of the Internet for Breast Cancer Information” State of Michigan. $95.000


    1999-00,          PI, “Risk Behavior by HIV+ African Americans Receiving Protease Inhibitor (PI) Therapy,” NIH Office on AIDS Research, #R01-MH54391,  $97,000


    1996-1999.      PI “African Americans and HIV: The Caregiving Experience,” National Institute of Mental

    Health, #R01-MH54391, $1,44,368.00.


    1999.               PI “African American Community Health Forums,” Charity Motors, $5,000.


    1999                PI, “African American Community Health Forums,” Blue Cross/Blue Shield Community

    Foundation of Michigan, $1,500


    1999                PI, “African American Community Health Forums,” K-Mart Foundation, $2,500


    1999                PI, “African American Community Health Forums,” Aguourin Pharmaceuticals, $2,500


    1998                PI, “African American Community Health Forums,” Detroit Medical Center, 2,000.


    1998                PI, “ African American Community Health Forums,” Michigan AIDS Fund, 5,000.


    1997                PI,  “The Faces of AIDS,” Vice President for Research, Research Stimulation Fund, $4,400.


    1997                PI, “The Faces of AIDS,” Office of the Provost, Bridge Funds, $,6000


    1997-1999       PI  “African Americans and HIV: The Caregiving Experience,-supplement” NIMH #R01-MH54391.


    1997-1998       PI “Selective Compliance in HIV Positive Women,” Detroit Medical Center.


    1995-1996.      Co-PI, “Cultural Impact on Caregiving Outcomes--Alzheimer s,” RO1-09791AG, $25,000.


    1994-1995       PI “HIV Needs Assessment,” HRSA/DHD, $5,000.


    1994                PI “Community Health Ethnography,” Office for Research and Sponsored Programs, $4,000.


    1994                Faculty Research Stimulation, Dean Liberal Arts, $3,000.


    1993-94           PI  Emergency Relief Grant Program, Ryan White Title Care Act, Title (RFP) City of Detroit Health Department and Southeastern Michigan AIDS Coordinating Council, $43,000.


    1992-97           PI “Ethnography of AIDS Prevention in the Recovery Community,” NIDA, $11,800/yr.

  • Invited Speaker Medical Anthropology and Ecology, National Science Council of China, Taiwan, 2013

    “Masters of Anthropology” at “Dialoguing with the Masters: Advanced Training in Anthropology” hosted by the Academia Sinica’s Institute of Ethnology. Invited Faculty Mentor, National Science Council of China, Taiwan, 2008

    2007 AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate) Faculty Mentor of the Year

    Society Medical Anthropology Executive Committee, 2006-2013.

    Editor Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 2006-2013

    Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology, 2003 - present

    Wayne State University Alumni Association 2000 Faculty Service Award

    AARR-8 NIH Study Section Chair 2000-2002

    President’s Distinguished Service Award, Wayne State University  2000.

    President’s Recognition for Outstanding Scholarly Achievements, Wayne State University  2000.

    Executive Committee, General Anthropology Division, American Anthropological Association, 1999-


    Permanent NIH Study Section Member, Committee on AIDS and Immunology Research, NIH 1997-


    Michiganian of the Year, awarded by the Detroit News 1995

    Wayne State University Mentor Award, 1994

Selected Publications

Dying at Home: A Guide for Family Caregivers.  Baltimore, MD:

Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Revised 2nd edition, New York: Bantam Press, 1995.

Revised 3-rd edition, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, Fall 1999.


The Identification and Reporting of Abuse: A Training Manual for Nursing Home Aides.  Michigan Department of Public Health, 1988.



Briller, S. & Sankar, A.  2014. “Engaging Opportunities in Urban Revitalization:

Practicing Detroit Anthropology”. Annals of Anthropological Practice: Anthropology and Engaged Practice New Vision for the Discipline within Higher Education. NAPA.


Luborsky, M, & Sankar, A. 2006. Improving aging and public health research: Qualitative and mixed methods,    In, Leslie Curry, Renée Shield, and Terrie Wetle (Editors) " Applying Qualitative and Mixed Methods in Aging and in Health Disparities Research: Theoretical and Practical Considerations. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association. Pp 27-39.


Sankar, A. “Spinsters and Domestic Nuns”, Gendering Hong Kong, 2004. Eds. A. Kit-wa Chan

& Wong Wai- Ling, London: Oxford University Press; 363-397.


Sankar, A. “Images of Home Death and the Elderly Patient; Romantic vs. Real,”

(reprinted in) Perspectives: Introduction to Social Work,  C. Lowery (Ed.), Bellevue, LA: CourseWise Pub., 1999.


Sankar, A., and Gubrium, J.  "Qualitative Research: A Critical Appraisal,"  In Qualitative Research in Gerontology, edited by J. Gubrium and A. Sankar. 1-11,  Beverly Hills: Sage, 1994.


"La Communicazione Tra: Familia ei Sanitari Mell'assistenza Domiciliare ae Morenti,"  In Bioetica e Antropologia Medica, edited by S. Spinsanti, 241-256.  Rome: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1991.


"Gerontological Research in China: The Role for Anthropological Inquiry,"  In Anthropology and Aging: Comprehensive Reviews, edited by R. Rubinstein, 173-199.  Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1990.


"Patients, Physicians and Context: Medical Care in the Home,"  In Knowledge and Practice in Medicine: Social, Cultural and Historical Approaches, edited by M. Lock, D. Gordon, 155-179.  Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1988.


"The Living Dead: Cultural Constructions of the Oldest Old,"  In Modern Pioneers: An Interdisciplinary View of The Aged, edited by P. Silverman, 345-356.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.


"Sisters and Brothers, Lovers and Enemies: Marriage Resistance in Rural Kwangtung,"  In Anthropology and Homosexual Behavior, edited by E. Blackwood, 69-83.  New York: Haworth, 1986.  (reprinted from Journal off Homosexuality 11(3/4):69-81, 1985.


"It's Just Old Age: Old Age as a Diagnosis in Chinese and Western Medicine,"  In Age and Anthropological Theory, edited by D. Kertzer and J. Keith, 250-281.  Ithaca: Cornell, 1984.


"Spinster Sisterhoods: Jing Yih Sifu: Spinster-Domestic-Nun,"  In Lives: Chinese Working Women, edited by J. Salaff and M. Sheridan, 51-71.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.


"Conquest of Solitude: Singlehood and Old Age in Traditional Chinese Society," In Dimensions of Anthropology of Aging, edited by C. Fry, 65-85.  New York: Wiley, 1981.



Briller, S, & Sankar, A., (Eds.) Generations “Secular Ritual and Aging”, Fall 2011.


Sankar, A. & Abel, E. (Eds.)  Research on Aging (Special Issue on Qualitative Research). 17 (1), 1995.


Gubrium, J. and Sankar, A.  (Eds.)  Qualitative Research in Gerontology.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1994.


Gubrium, J., and Sankar, A.  (Eds.).  The Home Care Experience.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990.



Nevedal, A., Neufeld, S., Luborsky, M. Sankar, A. (in press)."Older and Younger African

Americans' Story Schemas and Experiences of Living With HIV/AIDS," Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology.


Nevedal, A. and Sankar, A. 2015 "The significance of sexuality and intimacy in the lives

of  older African Americans with HIV/AIDS". The Gerontologist Doi:10.1093/geront/gnu160.


Beach, MC. Roter, D., Korthuis, P.T., Epstein, R., Sharp, V. Ratanawongsa, N., Cohn,  

J., Eggly, S., Sankar, A., Moore, R.D., Saha, S., 2013. “A Multi-Center Study of    Physician Mindfulness and Healthcare Quality”.  Annals of Family Medicine. 11(5): 421–428.  doi:  10.1370/afm.1507


Luborsky, M., Sankar, A. “Reflections from MAQ Editors 2006-2012, and                                      Introduction to a Special Focus Section Medical Anthropology Quarterly,  

         New Series, Vol. 26,No. 4  pp. 449-452


Sankar, A., Neufeld, S., Berry, R. Luborsky M. 2011, “African American Rationales

 for HAART     Adherence, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 25(9): 547-555.


Sankar, A. Nevedal, A, Berry, R., Neufeld, S., Luborsky, M. 2011.“What do we

know about older adults and HIV? a review of social and behavioral literature" AIDS Care 2011;  NIHMS326167 " has been loaded into PubMed Central. 3rd most downloaded AIDS Care article in 2012.


Beach MC, Saha S, Korthuis PT, Sharp V, Cohn J, Wilson I, Eggly S, Cooper LA,

Roter D, Sankar A, Moore RD. Patient-provider communication differs for black compared to white HIV-Infected patients. AIDS and Behavior  2011. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-009-9664-i.


Kinsman H, Roter D, Berkenblit G, Saha S, Korthuis PT, Wilson I, Eggly S, Sankar A, Sharp V,

Cohn J, Moore RD, Beach MC.  "We'll do this together:"The Role of the First Person Plural in Fostering Partnership in Patient-Physician Relationships. 2010. Journal of General Internal Medicine Volume 25, Number 7, 682-687, DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1310-4.


Sankar, A, Nevedal, D, Neufeld, S, Luborsky, M. 2007. What is a Missed Dose?

Implications for Construct Validity and Patient Adherence.  AIDS Care. 18(5): 1-7. 


Rohn, E. J., Sankar, A., Hoelscher, D. C., Luborsky, M., & Parise, M. H. 2006.

How Do Social-Psychological Concerns Impede the Delivery of Care to People with HIV? Issues for Dental Education. Journal of Dental Education, 70(10), 1038-1042.


Sankar, A., Golin, C., Simoni, J., Luborsky, M., Pearson, C. 2006, “How Qualitative

Methods Contribute to Understanding Combination Anti-retroviral Therapy Adherence” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 43 Supplement 1:S54-S68, December 1, 2006.


Sankar, A, Wunderlich, T, Neufeld, S., Luborsky, M. 2006.  Sero-positive African American

Beliefs About Alcohol and Impact on Antiretroviral Adherence.  AIDS & Behavior  10(4):    1-9.


Sankar, A. and Luborsky, M. “Developing a Community-based definition of needs

for persons living with chronic HIV,” Human Organization 2003; 62(2):153-165.


          Sankar, A., Luborsky, M., Schuman, P. Roberts, G. “Adherence Discourse Among

HIV+ African American Women Taking High Acting Anti-Retroviral Therapy,” AIDS Care 2002;14(2): 203-218.


          Bray, T. and Sankar, A.  “Exploring community issues through the university

museum; The exhibit Facing HIV/AIDS: Reality and Response,  Museum Anthropology  24(3): 3-10, 2001.


Sankar, A. and Luborsky, M., Songwantha, P., Rawbuhemba, T.. “Comparative

social Structural and meaning perspectives of living with HIV in late life,” Research on Aging. 20(6): 885-912, 1998.


Brown D., and Sankar A., “HIV/AIDS and aging in minority populations,”

 Research on Aging.  20(6): 865-885, 1998.


            Trix, F. and Sankar, A., “Going Beyond the Polls: Women’s Voices in the

                        Hill/Thomas Hearings,” American Anthropologist. 100 (1): 22-30, 1998


Abel, E. and Sankar, A., “It s Not  What You Do When You Don’t Have Data or Can’t Do Statistics: Qualitative Research in Aging,” Research on Aging 17(1): 3-8, 1995.


Sankar, A. Culture, Research, and Policy,"   The Gerontologist 33(4):437-439, 1993.


           Luborsky, M., and Sankar, A.  "Extending the Critical Gerontology Perspective:

       Cultural Dimensions, Introduction,"  The Gerontologist 33(4):440-445, Reprinted in Aging for the Twenty-First Century. Jill Quadagno and Debra Street, Editors. New York: St. Martin's Press. 1996.]


"Images of Death and the Elderly Patient: Romantic Versus the Real," Generations 17(2):59-65, 1993.


"Ritual and Dying: A Cultural Analysis of Social Support for Caregivers," The Gerontologist ,31(1):43-51, 1991.


"Gerontological Research in China:  The Role of Anthropological Inquiry,"  Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 4(3):199-224, 1989.  [Reprinted in Anthropology and Aging. Comprehensive Reviews as Gerontological Research in China, edited by R. Rubinstein, 173-199.  Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1990.]


Sankar, A., Newcomer, R., and Wood, J.  "Prospective Payment: Systemic Effects on Community Care for the Elderly,"  Home Health Care Services Quarterly 7(2):93-117, 1986.


 "Out of the Clinic into the Home: Control and Patient-Physician Communication,"  Social Science and Medicine 22(9):973-982, 1986.


Newcomer, R., Sankar, A., and Wood J.  "Medicare Prospective Payment: Anticipated Effect on Hospitals, Other Community Agencies, and Families,"  Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 10(2):275-283, 1985.


Sankar, A., and Becker, S.  "The Home as a Site for Teaching Gerontology and Chronic Illness,"  Journal of Medical Education 60(4):308-313, 1985.


"Sisters and Brothers, Lovers and Enemies: Marriage Resistance in Southern Kwaungtung,"  Journal of Homosexuality 11(3/4):69-81, 1985.


Cultural Alternatives for the Vulnerable Elderly: The Case of China Past and Present,"  Studies in Third World Societies 23, 27-57, 1983.


Female Domestic Service in Hong Kong,” Michigan Papers in Anthropology 3:87-99, 1978.


      “Care across the Lifespan and Through History,” The Gerontologist Vol. 41, No. 6 (December),                              pp. 837-841, 2001.


Currently Teaching

  • Capstone Seminar for Anthropology Majors

Courses taught

ANT 5210 Introduction to Anthropological Methods F 2015