Academic Profile

I am an historian of Chinese Medicine and Religion, with a focus first in the early Imperial period, and secondly in contemporary Taiwan, China and Han diasporic communities.

My PhD is in history from University College London, where I studied at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine. I have an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, where I studied Daoism and Chinese religions. My BAHons in Philosophy and English Literature is from the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, UK and my clinical diploma in Chinese medicine is from Ruseto College, Boulder, Colorado. I also received a DiplAC from the National Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I have held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; Academia Sinica, Taipei; the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge; and the Asian Studies Centre at the University of Pittsburgh.

I am currently writing a book on the emergence of medicine and religion as different but closely related fields of practice in early imperial China, provisionally titled Situating Practice: Medicine and Religion in Early Imperial China. I am also co-editing two other books, the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine and Situating Medicine and Religion Across Asia.

I am project lead on a Digital Humanities project titled Materia Medica in early Imperial China. This data-mines the Buddhist, Daoist and medical corpora for data concerning materia medica. This project combines text-marking, statistical analysis, network visualisation and GIS mapping to provide entirely new levels of analysis of pre-modern text corpora, showing the distribution of drug terms across time, space, and textual genre. Initially funded by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, it is a collaborative venture with National Taiwan University and Fu-jen University, Taipei. The primary toolsets are DocuSky and MARKUS. DocuSky was developed around the requirements for managing the dataset at the core of this project, and has become now a major international resource for Digital Sinology.
The initial release of the Six Dynasties corpus is described here:

A sample markup of the earliest three layers of the Chinese materia medica tradition can be found here:

You can find links to other datasets and blogs and articles about the project here:

I currently serve as Senior Research Fellow at the Kolleg Forschungsgruppe for Multiple Secularities at the University of Leipzig and as an associate for the China Centre for Health and Humanity at University College London where I contribute to curriculum design and and workshops. I also serve as a Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Asian Medicine (IASTAM), a multi-disciplinary society including history, anthropology, ethno-botany, ethno-pharmacology, public health, clinical trials, and is the only society of its kind to include practitioners. We publish the journal Asian Medicine, host conferences, and are engaged in collaborative research as well as advocacy to global institutions such as the WHO, the Humboldt Forum, and the WHS.

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Asst Prof Michael Stanley-Baker
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Chinese Medicine
Chinese Religions
Digital Humanities
Medical Anthropology
Chinese Literature and History
Asian Medicines
  • Materia Medica in early Imperial China: A Digital Humanities Approach to tracking historical flows of Drug Knowledge

  • Polyglot medical Heritage in Maritime Southeast Asia: Foundational Resources and Digital Tools

  • Situating Medicine, Religion and Materia Medica in China and Beyond
  • Michael Stanley-Baker.(2019). Health and Philosophy in Pre- and Early Imperial China. In Adamson, Peter(Ed), Health: A history(7-42). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Miguel Escobar Varela, Andrea Nanetti, Michael Stanley-Baker,.(2019). Digital Humanities in Singapore. In Shun-han Rebekah, Wong Haipeng, Li Min, Chou(Ed), Digital Humanities and Scholarly Research Trends in the Asia-Pacific(91-117). Hershey: IGI Global.

  • Michael Stanley-Baker (徐源). (2018). Daoist Buddhist Medical Corpus for Six Dynasties (DaoBudMed6D). Research Center for Digital Humanities, National Taiwan University.

  • Zhang Ruixian, Wang Jiacai, Michael Stanley-Baker.(2018). The Earliest Stone Medical Inscription. In Vivienne Lo(Ed), Imaging Chinese MedicineLeiden: Brill.

  • Vivienne Lo, Michael Stanley-Baker.(2018). Chinese Medicine .. A Global History of MedicineOxford: Oxford University Press.