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Professor Catherine (Sassy) Molyneux

Professor Catherine (Sassy) Molyneux

Podcast interview

Governance in practice

Professor Sassy Molyneux's main interests reside in Social science and Ethics in Public Health. Over the years, social scientists have developed a programme of empirical work on research ethics. This work is based on an understanding that while the ethics of human subjects research may be universal, there can be big differences across contexts and circumstances in key ethical issues or principles.

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Sassy Molyneux

Professor of Global Health

Health Policy and Systems Research and Empirical Ethics

Sassy Molyneux is Professor in Global Health based, Oxford, and a senior researcher at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya, where she was based for 28 years.  Sassy is an interdisciplinary researcher, with a background in human geography and behavioural studies.  Her current main research interests span health policy and systems research (governance, finance, responsiveness to patient and public priorities and needs, and treatment-seeking), and empirical ethics, including the everyday ethics of frontline health provision and of conducting studies in resource poor settings.  Cross-cutting areas of interest include:

  • producing new thinking, evidence and recommendations around vulnerability and agency among research participants and communities, and researchers responsibilities in these contexts; and b)
  • initiatives aimed at strengthening accountability processes in biomedical research and health delivery in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Sassy provides strategic support around ethical issues that emerge during research across the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust programme in Kenya, and contributes to social science, health systems research, community engagement and research ethics training at the centre and internationally.

Current research projects:

  • Co-applicant and country lead on a Wellcome Trust funded research consortium on vulnerability and agency among women and children in LMIC research (REACH). 
  • Co-applicant and theme lead on a DFID funded consortium: Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RESYST).
  • Co-applicant and country manager on a programme to build capacity in global health research ethics and community engagement across the Wellcome Programmes. See Global Health Bioethics
  • Co-applicant and consortium representative on a Partnership to foster gender and ethics analysis in health systems research and practice across the three Department for International Development (DFID) funded Research Programme Consortia (RPC) on health systems (FHS, REBUILD, RESYST). See Research in Gender and Ethics
  • Co-applicant on a funding initiative to strengthen global Health Systems Research Capacity across relevant departments in Oxford and Kenya (HSC).