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Michael Lim Tan
(1952 - living) Philippines

Michael Lim Tan

Medical anthropologist


Michael Lim Tan, the son of Julio Tan and Apolonia Nieves Lim, grew up in the City of San Juan, Metro Manila, where he had his early education at the Xavier School, a private Catholic college preparatory school for boys run by the Society of Jesus' Philippine Province, graduating in 1969.

He majored in Biology at the Ateneo de Manila University, then transferred to the University of San Francisco, taking up the same degree. He eventually got a degree in veterinary medicine from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1977, and from there he pursued a career as a veterinarian, which included a brief teaching stint at the veterinary school of Araneta University (now De La Salle Araneta University), before moving on to human public health and pharmacology, and eventually, medical anthropology.

From 1979 to 1985, he worked with the Alay Kapwa Kilusang Pangkalusugan (AKAP), which used a primary health care approach for tuberculosis prevention and control. His work in health resulted in an interest in anthropology and he did an MA in Anthropology with the Texas A&M University (1982) and a PhD with the Medical Anthropology Unit of the University of Amsterdam (1996).

He earned a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the Texas A&M University in 1982, and then obtained his PhD in social and political science from the Medical Anthropology Unit of the University of Amsterdam in 1996.

Michael Lim Tan

Right after graduation he began to work with community-based health programs of the Roman Catholic church, first with the Mindanao-Sulu Secretariat of Social Action based in Davao City, then with the National Secretariat of Social Action in Manila.

Dr. Tan began to teach at the University of the Philippines in 1984 and is currently Professor 12 in UP Diliman, with the department of anthropology as his home department. In addition, he is a Clinical Professor with the College of Medicine in the University of the Philippines Manila where he directs a graduate degree program in medical anthropology and lectures with graduate programs in genetic counselling, and in bioethics.

He served as the chair of the anthropology department from 2001 to 2010 before becoming Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

He has been a speaker at local and international conferences where he talks of the many applications of the social sciences, from HIV/AIDS prevention, to an improvement of education. His talks also bring in the personal dimension where academic theories are explained as tools for facing the challenges of daily living across human life cycles, from raising children to caring for the elderly. Dr. Tan has published extensively, including several books and articles in scholarly journals.

An important component of Dr. Tan's professional life is writing a bi-weekly column, "Pinoy Kasi", in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, using the social sciences to analyze current events and issues, and for advocacy around peace and justice issues.

Michael Lim Tan

In 2012, Dr. Tan was appointed a National Academician and a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology, which is the highest advisory body to the government on science and technology.

On February 27, 2014, the University of the Philippines Board of Regents appointed Tan to serve as the chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman, where he was serving as Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP). Tan will serve as Chancellor from March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2017. On January 26, 2017 the Board of Regents reappointed Tan for another three-year-term.

Prior to his appointment as UPD Chancellor, Tan was already well known for his work among Non-governmental organizations in the Philippines, and for his column Pinoy Kasi , which appears twice a week in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Tan has authored numerous books and articles, often focusing on: indigenous medical beliefs, sex and sexuality, reproductive and sexual health (particularly HIV/AIDS), pharmaceuticals, and health policy issues.


Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://upd.edu.ph/

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