1. Academic experts
  2. Research students
  3. Students
  4. Alumni
  5. Senior people at City
  6. Non-academic staff
  7. Honorary graduates

portrait of Dr Jessie Cooper

Dr Jessie Cooper

Lecturer in the Sociology of Health

School of Health Sciences, Division of Health Services Research and Management

Contact Information


Visit Jessie Cooper

Myddelton Street Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Jessie is a medical sociologist with expertise in ethnographic and narrative approaches to studies of medical practice, technoscience, and health inequalities. Her main areas of research are: 1) the social practices and politics of organ donation and transplantation. Jessie's work in this area has critically examined the institutional production of ‘the minority ethnic organ donor’ and ethnic inequalities in transplantation, in the context of UK organ donation and allocation practices. Jessie is currently developing a focus on the ethics-in-practice of organ donation after circulatory death, and the political economy of renal care in the UK. 2) Critical approaches to the study of science, technology and medicine, which develops research at the intersections of the social, medical and natural sciences. Jessie's research in this area includes: narrative research on delayed diagnoses and outcomes in viral encephalitis; a study on contextual issues in rolling out clean fuel for cooking in Cameroon; and examining diagnostic problems and knowledge production in transplant, reproductive, and neurological medicine.


  1. PhD - Medical Sociology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  2. MA Research Methodology (Sociology), University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  3. BA Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  4. Certificate in Professional Studies, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom


  1. Lecturer in the Sociology of Health, City, University of London, Sep 2017 – present
  2. Lecturer in the Sociology of Public Health, The University of Liverpool, Jul 2013 – Aug 2017
  3. Research Associate in Social Science, The University of Liverpool, Feb 2012 – Jun 2013

Visiting appointments

  1. Honorary Lecturer in Public Health, University of Liverpool

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Fellow, Higher Education Academy


Current and Recently Completed Research

Current Grants:
Jessie currently holds a Pump Priming award (£3224; 2018-2019) from City, University of London for the study: 'Making Ethics (at) Work: Understanding the practice of organ donation after circulatory death in the UK

* Co-Investigator (with Professor Nigel Bruce [PI] and Dr Dan Pope) on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Case Study on the scale-up of LPG for cooking in Cameroon ($29,482; 2017-2018).

Jessie also secured funding in 2017 from The University of Liverpool’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (£1695), and from the School of Law’s Research and Development Fund (£3000, with Dr Sean Columb) to host the research symposium: Organs, Tissues, Contexts: Politics and Practices in the Era of Transplant Medicine (22nd September 2017, The University of Liverpool).

Other Current Research Activities:
Research Collaborator - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: Methods for involving patients in core outcome set development (with Professor Paula Williamson, Professor Bridget Young and Alice Biggane).

Research Advisor – NIHR Health Protection Research Unit: Gastro-Intestinal Infections: Exploring Socio-Economic and Behavioural Factors in Gastro-Intestinal Infections (PI: Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead; £3.9 million).

Completed Research:
Co-Investigator: ESRC Transformative Social Sciences: Pump Priming Technological Affordances: Transformations in Society and Science. (PI: Dr Ciara Kierans, £9369)

Post-Doctoral Research: NIHR: ENCEPH UK: Understanding and Improving the Outcomes of viral encephalitis. (PI: Professor Tom Solomon, £1.9 million)

PhD Studentship: Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness: Organ Donation and Ethnicity: Unpicking the Formulation of a Problem

Research Expertise

Qualitative research, in particular ethnographic and narrative methodologies;
Organ donation and transplantation
Critical theory and Science and Technologies Studies (STS) approaches to the study of health, medicine and technology

Research Students

Haddijatou Ceesay

Attendance: Feb 2019 – Feb 2022

Thesis title: Understanding the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young People in The Gambia: A Mixed-Methods Study

Role: 2nd Supervisor

Suzie Rotherham

Thesis title: Risk, Vulnerability and consequences of gastrointestinal infections in the United Kingdom

Role: 2nd Supervisor

Stephanie Meysner

Thesis title: Diagnosing the Cancer-Patient-in-Liverpool



  1. Kierans, C. and Cooper, (2013). Organ donation, genetics, race and culture. In Callan, H., Street, B. and Underdown, S. (Eds.), Introductory Readings in Anthropology Oxford: Berghan Books.

Journal articles (9)

  1. Bruce, N., de Cuevas, R.A., Cooper, J., Enonchong, B., Ronzi, S., Puzzolo, E. … Pope, D. (2018). The Government-led initiative for LPG scale-up in Cameroon: Programme development and initial evaluation. Energy for Sustainable Development, 46, pp. 103–110. doi:10.1016/j.esd.2018.05.010.
  2. Cooper, J. (2018). Organs and organisations: Situating ethics in organ donation after circulatory death in the UK. Social Science and Medicine, 209, pp. 104–110. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.05.042.
  3. Cooper, J., Kierans, C., Defres, S., Easton, A., Kneen, R. and Solomon, T. (2017). Care beyond the hospital ward: Understanding the socio-medical trajectory of herpes simplex virus encephalitis. BMC Health Services Research, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2608-2.
  4. Cooper, J. (2017). Problematising the ethics of organ donation after circulatory death in the UK. Critical Public Health, 27(4), pp. 499–505. doi:10.1080/09581596.2016.1225948.
  5. Cooper, J., Kierans, C., Defres, S., Easton, A., Kneen, R. and Solomon, T. (2016). Diagnostic Pathways as Social and Participatory Practices: The Case of Herpes Simplex Encephalitis. PLOS ONE, 11(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151145.
  6. Cooper, J. and Kierans, C. (2016). Organ donation, ethnicity and the negotiation of death: ethnographic insights from the UK. Mortality, 21(1), pp. 1–18. doi:10.1080/13576275.2015.1021314.
  7. Kierans, C. and Cooper, J. (2013). The emergence of the ‘ethnic donor’: the cultural production and relocation of organ donation in the UK. Anthropology & Medicine, 20(3), pp. 221–231. doi:10.1080/13648470.2013.845480.
  8. Kierans, C. and Cooper, J. (2011). Organ donation, genetics, race and culture: The making of a medical problem (Respond to this article at Anthropology Today, 27(6), pp. 11–14. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8322.2011.00837.x.
  9. Cooper, H., Cooper, J. and Milton, B. (2009). Technology-based approaches to patient education for young people living with diabetes: a systematic literature review. Pediatric Diabetes, 10(7), pp. 474–483. doi:10.1111/j.1399-5448.2009.00509.x.


Module Leader:

SC1005: Health, Illness and Society (BSc Health and Social Care)
HRM002: Advanced Research Methods
APM002: MSc Dissertation Module (Period 2)

Contribute to:

HRM001: Introduction to Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis SC1001: Introduction to Health and Social Care
CRM003: MRes Dissertation

Other Activities

Events/conferences (13)

  1. Encephalitis Conference 2017. (Conference) London, UK (2017).
    Paper: Care beyond the hospital ward: understanding the socio-medical trajectory of herpes simplex virus encephalitis
    Author: Cooper, J.
    Co-authors: Kierans, C., Defres, S., Kneen, R., Easton, A., Solomon, T.
  2. Organs Tissues Contexts: Politics and practices in the era of transplant medicine. The University of Liverpool (2017). Chair and Organising Committee.
    Paper: Introduction: Organs, Tissues, Contexts
    Author: Cooper, J.
    Co-authors: Columb, S.
  3. BSA Deconstructing Donation Study Group. University of Lancaster (2016).
    Paper: Problematising the ethics of organ donation after circulatory death in the UK
    Author: Cooper, J
  4. Death, Dying and Disposal Conference (DDD 12). (Conference) Alba Iulia, Romania (2015).
    Paper: Organ donation after circulatory death: situating the practice
    Author: Cooper, J.
  5. Breaking up bodies: body parts, body waste and the geographies of circulation. (Workshop) (2015). Invited speaker.
    Paper: Organ donation after circulatory death: situating the practice
    Author: Cooper, J.
  6. BSA Death and Dying Study Group. (Conference) London (2014).
    Paper: Contested decision-making: negotiating death and ethnicity in UK organ donation
    Author: Cooper, J.
  7. Dying and Death in 18th-21st Century Europe. (Conference) Alba Iulia, Romania (2014).
    Paper: Donating organs in the UK: contested decision-making and the negotiation of death
    Author: Cooper, J.
  8. Morgan Center Encounters Conference. (Conference) University of Manchester (2013).
    Paper: When consent-in-theory encounters consent-in-practice: re-situating the notion of relatedness in consent for deceased organ donation in the UK
    Author: Cooper, J.
  9. NHS Blood and Transplant, Organ Donation Management Team Meeting. Nottingham, UK (2013). Invited speaker.
    Paper: The cultural anatomy of decision-making: re-thinking the ‘problem’ of organ donation and ethnicity
    Author: Cooper, J.
  10. NHS Blood and Transplant, Regional Collaborative meeting. Yorkshire, UK (2012). Invited speaker.
    Paper: An ethnography of organ donation and ethnicity in the UK
    Author: Cooper, J.
  11. 8th Conference for Kidney Disease in Disadvantaged Populations. (Conference) Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (2011).
    Paper: Organ donation amongst the UK’s Black and Minority Ethnic groups: Understanding ethnicity through healthcare practice
    Author: Cooper, J.
    Co-authors: Kierans, C.
  12. 5th Annual Ethnography Symposium. (Conference) Queen Mary, University of London (2010).
    Paper: Negotiating the field of organ donation and ethnicity: Gatekeeping, absent families, and the roles of health professionals
    Author: Cooper, J.
  13. Ethical, Legal and Psychosocial aspects of Organ Transplantation Congress (ELPAT). (Conference) Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2010).
    Paper: Organ donation and ethnicity: Unpicking the formulation of a problem
    Author: Cooper, J.
    Co-authors: Kierans, C.