Eduardo Piqueiras

“Indiana Jones effect” is what triggers interest in some people to become anthropology students and Eduardo Piqueiras was one of them. Piqueiras found himself going into his first year of undergrad drawn by the allure of foreign locales with a mix of adventure and intellect, and the excitement of exploring the unknown. He soon discovered that anthropology wasn’t finding supernatural artifacts and deathtrap boulders chasing you in the field (at least usually). Piqueras found himself falling in love with all of anthropology’s subfields and how varied they are. “The benefit of a four field undergraduate program is just that… you get to explore them all. So I really do believe thatanthropology has something for everyone,” Piqueiras said.


When Piqueiras was finishing his masters in New Orleans and realized that doctoral training in medical anthropology was his next step, it was the professors and researchers here at Wayne State that really made this one of his top choices. “I was looking for an applied program especially one that had strong urban research ties,” Piqueiras said. “I had read a few things by some of the medical anthropologists here specifically Dr. Andrea Sankar, Dr. Mark Luborsky and Dr. Todd Meyers, so the chance to be able to work with any or all of them was a huge driving force in my wanting to come here.”


The fact that Detroit is undergoing so many changes also added a bit of spice to the mix, and at the time, Piqueiras thought Detroit might present a similar environment as New Orleans does because of how much they have in common.


As a doctorate student, Piqueiras is focusing his studies in Medical Anthropology because it’s an interest that has never dulled for him, “What I loved about medical anthropology was that it’s so applied and is about making a difference in people’s lives, not just about doing research for research’s sake.” Applying his love for studying diseases and his anthropological skills to the real world, Piqueiras is currently doing his dissertation on examining the social, ethical and political-economic stakes generated by the control and surveillance of frequent recurrent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease within the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain- specifically in the area around Barcelona.


Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria that can cause fatal outcomes for those infected. There has been an upward trend globally of cases and large clusters with little research on its social determinants. Piqueiras is approaching this through the investigation of the deontology of various outbreak sites, realized between the network of health professionals and the afflicted, which are connected through a larger network of various epidemiological investigatory units. “I hope that this work can help to contribute to ongoing discussions about how governmental and state policies impact our health and perhaps call additional attention to Legionnaires’ disease,” Piqueiras said.


Edward Piqueiras’ work will help to define a future for governmental policies on diseases and bring better exposure to Legionnaires’ disease and its fatality.

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Eduardo Piqueiras 8/2/2018
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