PostDoc and Affiliate ResearcherLisa Lehner, BA, BA, MA, MA, PhD

About Lisa Lehner

Lisa Lehner is an interdisciplinary qualitative health researcher, consultant, and advocate focusing on issues surrounding healthcare access, healthcare for marginalized communities, welfare state public health, and inequities in the healthcare system. With her background in Science & Technology Studies, Medical Anthropology, Public Health, Sociology, and Political Science, her approach integrates multiple disciplinary and theoretical perspectives along with her commitment towards participatory and transdisciplinary research that is grounded in people’s lived realities and structural situatedness. Currently, she is a PostDoc and Co-PI at the University of Vienna, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, working on the prescription, circulation, and use of benzodiazepines and antibiotics in Vienna, Austria, funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) in a collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna, Center for Public Health. Her expertise ranges from pharmaceutical studies to systemic inequities and infectious diseases. Her dissertation work at Cornell University, titled “The Liminal Cure,” dealt with the case study of Hepatitis C and its novel cure, direct-acting antivirals, as a lens through which to challenge the idea that cure and health are matters related in direct and uncomplicated ways. Further research topics include assisted reproductive technologies, live organ transplantation, and addiction research. An expert in qualitative research, she integrates observational, interviewing, focus group, and community-engaged methods. Additionally, Lisa is interested in queer theory, LGBTQIA+ rights, welfare state politics, and health implementation research.

She also brings in over twelve years of project and work experience in the Austrian public health context with prior positions at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Promotion Research (2011-2014), the Medical University of Vienna for the EU-Horizon 2020 project SoNAR-Global (2019-2021) and the EU-Horizon 2020 project CANCERLESS (2022), and as a consultant at the NGO AmberMed Vienna.

The role and goal of critical public health research is to better understand the status quo–especially the needs of groups in marginalized conditions of living–and figure out practical ways of creating more access and equity in the healthcare system as a whole.
Lisa Lehner


Areas of interest

Medical anthropology, social studies of science, pharmaceutical studies, health inequalities, healthcare policy

Highlighted Publications

Lehner. Lisa. 2023. “The Liminal Cure: Living with Hepatitis C, its Treatment, and the Welfare State in Austria.” Doctoral Dissertation. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.

Schiffler, T, Kapan, A, Gansterer, A, Pass, T, Lehner, L, Gil-Salmeron, A, McDermott, D, Grabovac, I. 2023. Characteristics and Effectiveness of Co-Designed Mental Health Interventions in Primary Care for People Experiencing Homelessness: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20(1): 892.

Jeleff, M, Lehner, L, Giles-Vernick, T, Dückers, MLA, Napier, AD, Jirovsky, E, Kutalek, R. 2022. Vulnerability and One Health assessment approaches for infectious threats from a social science perspective: A systematic scoping review. The Lancet Planetary Health 6(8): e682–93.

Lehner, L, Gribi, J, Hoffmann, K, Paul, KT, Kutalek, R. 2021. Beyond the “Information Deficit Model” – Understanding Vaccine-Hesitant Attitudes of Midwives in Austria: A Qualitative Study. BMC Public Health 21: 1671.

Jeleff, M, Lehner, L, Kutalek, R, Napier, DA, Dückers, M, Jirovsky, E, Gilles-Vernick, T. 2019. Vulnerability Assessment Tools for Infectious Threats and AMR: A Scoping Review Protocol. BMJ Open 9: e031944.

Professional membership

Austrian Association for Science and Technology Studies (STS Austria)

Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

The European Association for the Studies of Science and Technology (EASST)

The Italian Society for Social Studies of Science and Technology (STS Italia)

Achievements and awards

2023 – 2026. Co-PI for “Less is More: De-Prescribing Pharmaceuticals for Patient Safety and Sustainable Public Health” (LS22-024, Life Sciences 2022 – Public Health), Vienna Science & Technology Fund (WWTF), University of Vienna.

2022 & 2023. Fellow at the European Health Forum Gastein.

2020. Resident Fellowship, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg

2018. Dan David Prize Scholarship in “Bioethics”, Dan David Foundation

2018. Timothy Murray Travel Grant, Society for the Humanities, Cornell School of Arts & Sciences

2018. Young Scholars Award, The Italian Society for Social Studies of Science and Technology

2017. Bozcowski Award for Teaching Excellence, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University

2017. SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies & Social Science Research Council

2017. Research Travel Grant, Cornell University

2015. Würdigungspreis – Staatspreis für die besten Diplom- und Masterabschlüsse, Austrian Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy

2015. Förderungspreis, Dr. Maria Schaumayer-Stiftung

2014. Sage Graduate Fellowship, Cornell University


2017 – 2023: PhD, Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

2014 – 2017: MA, Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA

2011 – 2014: MA, Science-Technology-Society, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2008 – 2012: BA, Political Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2008 – 2011: BA, Sociology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria