Francisco Ortega

Francisco Ortega

Universitat Rovira i Virgili


I am ICREA Research Professor at the Medical Anthropology Research Center, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona. I am also Visiting Professor at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine of King’s College, London. I received a MA from Universidad Complutense in Madrid and a PhD in Philosophy from Bielefeld University. Before joining ICREA, I was full professor at the Institute for Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (1999-2021); and Associate Professor at the Federal University of Goiás in Brazil (1996-1999). I was invited professor at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, visiting professor at Bielefeld University, Oldenburg University, University of Buenos Aires, CSIC, Universidad de Chile, University of Campinas, and Fluminense Federal University. I am member of the Advisory Board of the Movement for Global Mental Health and the Steering Committee of the Global Social Medicine Network.

Research interests

I am involved in interdisciplinary projects at the interface between the Health and the Human Sciences with several institutions across the world. My research combines medical anthropology, history and philosophy of science, transcultural psychiatry, cultural and disability studies, public health and global health to develop an interdisciplinary framework for investigating 1) the interactions between global biopsychiatry and local psychiatric epistemologies; 2) the revitalization of social medicine as a vital intersection of social sciences, medical practice and policy; 3) the interfaces between the brain sciences and the human and social sciences; 4) the role of neuroscientific theories in the construction of personal and social identities; 5) the pragmatic negotiation of psychiatric diagnosis; 6) the emergence of new forms of solidarity and mutual aid in the context of the health and economic crisis of the covid-19 pandemic.

Selected publications

- Martínez-Hernáez A & Ortega F 2023, 'Re-imaginar la salud global desde la antropología: Encrucijadas, desafíos, escenario', Revista de Antropología social, 32, 2, 95-102.

- Ortega F & Muller MR 2023, 'Rethinking structural competency: continuing education in mental health and practices of territorialisation in Brazil', Global Public Health, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2022.2157034

- Ortega F & Pele A 2023, 'Brazil’s unified health system: 35 years and future challenges', The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, 28, 100631.

- Reis R & Ortega F 2023, 'The roots of trauma: a review of the history of psychotrauma', Historia Ciencias Saude-manguinhos, 30, e2023039.

- Ferreira RRdS & Ortega F 2023, 'The sovereignty of the visible: how traumatic memory becomes traumatic stress', Cadernos De Saude Publica, 39, 2, e00132622.

Selected research activities

(August- September 2023) Visiting professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro
keynote panel at 9º Congresso Brasileiro de Ciências Sociais e Humanas em Saúde. Recife., Brazil
invited speaker at Università degli Studi di Bergamo , Italy
-Director of 1PhD and 3 Master; examiner of 5PhD and 2 Master