Funder(s): Wellcome Trust
Researcher(s): Gill Haddow

Dr Gill Haddow has been successful in securing a prestigious Wellcome Trust University Award for her project ‘The Animal, Mechanical and Me: The Search for Replaceable Hearts’. The project, which will run for five years, revolves around the idea of creating narratives or biographies of the implanted heart drawing on qualitative data from three case studies. The first case study revolves around the decision making process between implanting an animal or mechanical implant; the second investigates the experiences of those fitted with an Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator and the last piece of research will investigate the development of Total Artificial Hearts. Hence the project works across two conceptual levels: the ‘technological transitions’ from working valve implants to devices to whole organ replacement and the biological transitions between animal and mechanical and human implants.

The biographies constructed can therefore make the links from patient experience to technological developments to the broader societal/institutional contexts of such developments.