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Prof. Dr. Michael Knipper

Professor of Global Health, Migration and Medical Humanities

Foto: K. Friese

Michael Knipper is a physician, medical historian and anthropologist, trained in Germany (University of Bonn) and Spain (University of Oviedo). He did clinical work in pediatrics, tropical medicine and primary health care in Germany and Ecuador, combined with research and teaching at the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Bonn, and medical anthropological research on indigenous perspectives on medicine and health in Ecuador. In 2003 he startet at the Institute for the History of Medicine at Giessen University, since 2022 as professor for Global Health, Migration and Medical Humanities. 

In his research, he is interested in the history and current dynamics related to social medicine and human rights-based approaches to health, with a regional focus one Europe and Latin America. Since the 1990s, he is working on traditional medicine and intercultural health in Ecuador. In the early 2000s, he started working on migration and health, with particular interest on the social, cultural, legal and political determinants of migrants’ health.  


In teaching, Michael Knipper’s focus in on a historically and anthropologically grounded perspective on the social, cultural and ethical dimensions of health, with particular focus on intercultural health, internationalization and migration. He developed and currently leads the special track global health curriculum at Giessen University, and is directing an interdisciplinary program on migration and human rights. He was awarded with the Ars Legendi Prize for Excellence in Academic Teaching in Medicine 2014, and the Award for Excellence in University Teaching of Hesse, 2018.  

He served as national expert for Germany of the MIPEX health strand (2015, 2020) and as consultant on migration and health for WHO, IOM and Doctors of the World. He was member of the UCL-Lancet-Commission on Migration and Health (2018) and is currently coordinating the Latin American Regional Hub of Lancet Migration: Global collaboration to advance migration and health (

In 2023, he is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) as external expert for the development of the "WHO Guidance Development on Health Emergency Learning and Capacity Building" of the WHO Health Emergency Programms. For the WHO Health and Migration Program (PHM) he serves as academic expert in the global consultation process for developing of the "WHO Global Research Agenda on Health and Migration“.

Current research and training projects are: