Dr. Tobbell’s scholarship focuses on the complex political, economic, and social relationships that developed after World War II between universities, governments, and the healthcare industry and that continue to impact modern-day systems.

She is the author of Pills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences (University of California Press, 2012), and Health Informatics at Minnesota: The First Fifty Years (Tasora Books, 2015). Her forthcoming book, Dr. Nurse: Science, Politics, and the Transformation of American Nursing (University of Chicago Press), examines American nurses’ more expansive roles in the post-World War II era.

She has taught a variety of courses on the history of 20th-century American healthcare, with an emphasis on the ways that race, gender, class, sexuality, and disability determine Americans’ experiences with and access to healthcare.

A board member of the American Association for the History of Nursing, Dr. Tobbell has earned fellowships from the Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, UVA’s Miller Center, the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Tobbell earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Manchester, and both a Master of Art and a PhD in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.



Tobbell, D. A. (2015). Health informatics at Minnesota: The first fifty years. Minneapolis: Tasora Books.