Dr Lena Springer

Jing Brand Fellow at the Needham Research Institute (NRI), Cambridge
Affiliated Researcher at EASTmedicine research group, University of Westminster, London

E: [email protected] 
W: https://charite-de.academia.edu/LenaSpringer


The Needham Research Institute, 8 Sylvester Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AF, United Kingdom


Lena Springer is Jing Brand Fellow at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge. Highlighting scattered, multi-disciplinary expertise of ‘materia medica studies’ (bencaoxue 本草学), she traces scientific and socioeconomic interactions in modern China from the vantage point of distinct experts of Chinese medicinal things and materials.

Her postdoctoral development includes stays as visiting researcher in China since 2008, a collaborative project about migrants from China in Viennese higher education and healthcare, and her forthcoming book that recalls modern Chinese history according to the narrated careers of senior Chinese medicine physicians. Her second book, about how regional suppliers of Chinese materia medica deal with the variation of names and the education of properties, contributes to the Wellcome Trust project “Beyond tradition: Ways of knowing and styles of practice in East Asian medicines, 1000 to the present” at University of Westminster in London where she is affiliated researcher at the East Asian Sciences and Traditions in Medicine, EASTmedicine, research group.


Article (open access Europe PubMed Central)

Springer, L. 2015, ‘Collectors, Producers, and Circulators of Tibetan and Chinese Medicine in Sichuan Province’, double special issue Efficacy and Safety in Tibetan and Chinese Medicines: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 10 (1-2), (Leiden: Brill), pp. 177-220. doi: 10.1163/15734218-12341357


Working paper (open access):

Springer, L. 2016, ‘Safeguarding Chinese Materia Medica: One Family as a Case of Transmitting Transregional Pharma-Craft, and Scholarly Science in Contemporary China’, in Gingrich, A./ Hazod, G. (eds), Austrian Academy of Sciences Working Papers in Social Anthropology, vol. 30, pp. 1-18. doi:10.1553/wpsa30

Book chapters

Springer, L. forthcoming, ‘Encounters with Linnaeus and Modernisation of Pharmacopoeia’, in Lo, V./ Stanley-Baker, M., Routledge Handbook of Chinese Medicine, London: Routledge. 

Springer, L. with Volker Scheid 2016, ‘Postscript’ (in Chinese), of 孟河醫學源流論 the Chinese translation of his monograph Currents of Tradition in Chinese Medicine, 1926-2006, published with China Publishing House for Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy 中國中醫藥出版社.

Springer, L. 2016, Germany, Austria, Switzerland (in Chinese), in Zhu, J.-p. (ed.) One Hundred Years of Chinese Medical History (百年中醫史), Shanghai Science and Technology Publishing House, 1178-86.

Springer, L. 2014, ‘Zhang Zhongjing’, in Brown, K. (ed.), Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biographies, in Vol. 1 (Xia to Sui dynasties).

Springer, L. with Katja Pessl 2014, ‘Migrants from China in Viennese Higher Education and Health Care Systems: Dynamic In-Between-Zones and Individual Initiatives’ (in German: MigrantInnen aus China im Wiener Hochschul- und Gesundheitswesen: Dynamische Zwischenzonen und Einzelinitiativen)’, in Dahlvik, J/ Reinprecht, Ch./ Sievers, W. (eds), Migration and Integration: Scientific Perspectives from Austria, Yearbook 2/2013 (in German: Migration und Integration: Wissenschaftliche Perspektiven aus Österreich, Jahrbuch 2/2013), Vienna: Vienna University Press, pp. 69-86.


Springer, L. forthcoming, Physicians’ Stories: On Chinese Medical Culture, 1926-2016 (in German: Arztgeschichten: Zur chinesischen Medizinkultur, 1926-2016), in Behr, W./ Chiavacci, D./ Riemenschnitter, A./ Souyri, P. F. / Steineck, R. C. / Zhang, L. / Zufferey, N. (eds) Worlds of East Asia, vol. 23, book series on behalf of the Swiss Association for Asian Studies, deGruyter Mouton.

Double Special Issue

Springer, L. with Mona Schrempf (eds) 2015, Efficacy and Safety: Historical Perspectives, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, vol. 10, issue 1-2, pp. 1-381.

Pen and glasses on written paper


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