Dr. Laura Palermo is a doctoral lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Hunter College and teaches the Human Biology Senior Capstone. Her work’s main focus is on viruses, public health and the global history of disease. In her courses, she combines both her expertise and teaching experience to address topics related to the social construction of health through the interdisciplinary lenses of social and biological sciences.
Prior to her work at Hunter, Dr. Palermo was appointed associate research scientist at Columbia Medical Center and Instructor at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she taught first-year medical students. For several years, she was also a lecturer at the New School, where she taught courses on the global histories of disease, viruses and vaccines in history, and the history of medicine. Dr. Palermo has published extensively in the field of virology and received several grants and fellowships during her career.
Her current research analyzes the impact of infectious diseases in the past and the present, emphasizing the Global South. This work focuses on the relationship between daily life, politics and health experts in Argentina during the pandemics of 1918 and Covid-19. Some of her past research has been published in the Journal of Virology, Nature Cell Biology and Scientific Reports.
Dr. Palermo is actively engaged in helping students to obtain support to advance their careers. She is a proud member of the Presidential Task Force to Advance Racial Equity at Hunter College and serves on the Admissions and Recruitment Committee. Through her teaching, Dr. Palermo aims to break down barriers and stereotypes that block cross-disciplinary dialogue and understanding.
Born in Argentina, Dr. Palermo was initially trained as a biologist at the University of Buenos Aires. She holds a PhD in virology from Cornell University and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine.