Ezelle Sanford III
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

About Me

Ezelle Sanford III

Ezelle Sanford III

About Me

Ezelle Sanford III is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on Race, Science, and Society in the Center for Africana Studies at The University of Pennsylvania.

There, he researches the history and legacy of enslavement and its relationship to the institutional development of the Penn School of Medicine, medical education, health policy, and the production of medical knowledge and practice. 

Ezelle earned his Ph.D. in History and History of Science from Princeton University in 2019.  He specializes in the history of modern medicine and public health, African American history from emancipation to the present, and twentieth-century United States history. In addition to his fellowship duties, he continues to work on the history and legacy of racial segregation in American medicine and healthcare.

He is beginning work on his book project, Segregated Medicine, an outgrowth of his dissertation research on St. Louis’s Homer G. Phillips Hospital—the nation’s largest segregated hospital which operated from 1937-1979.  His work has been supported with fellowships from  the Ford Foundation, Washington University in St. Louis, and Princeton University.

Working at the intersection of history, Black studies, and anthropology, Ezelle studies race, medicine, and public health from the 19th century to the present. His research focuses on African Americans and their interactions with, and shaping of, twentieth century medicine and healthcare.  Specifically, Ezelle’s dissertation, “A Source of Pride, A Vision of Progress:  The Homer G. Phillips Hospital of St. Louis, MO (1937-1979),” uses the Homer G. Phillips hospital of St. Louis, MO to evaluate and complicate the implementation, duration, and eradication of segregated healthcare in the United States.  His research addresses key questions in the history of medicine including:  What was graduate medical education like for African Americans in the age of segregation?  How did African Americans influence, and respond to, the changing health landscape over the course of the twentieth century?  Why didn’t Black hospitals survive the racial integration of United States healthcare?