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Dr Kiran Pienaar Lecturer, Curriculum Development (TF), Aust Res Ctr Sex Hlth&Soc

Dr Kiran Pienaar is a lecturer at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University, with expertise in gender, sexuality, and science and technology studies. She has a multidisciplinary background in Gender Studies, Sociology and Applied Linguistics. Before joining ARCSHS, Kiran was a research fellow in the Health and Biofutures program at Monash University, where she worked on a project exploring the biopolitics of diagnostic testing and cancer screening.

Kiran's research explores connections between health, gender, sexuality and the body, with a particular interest in drug consumption and sexual cultures, and the sociopolitical dimensions of health. Her research has appeared in leading journals including Social Science and Medicine; The International Journal of Drug Policy; Health; Addiction Research and Theory; and Social Theory and Health. She has published on topics related to drugs, addiction and the self; the biopolitics of disease; public health and drug policy; and drug experiences in LGBTQ cultures. Her first book 'Politics in the Making of HIV/AIDS in South Africa' was published with Palgrave Macmillan.

Kiran’s current research program involves two projects on topics related to gender, sexuality and drug consumption; and digital health interventions. With colleagues at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, she is a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project titled 'Chemical Practices: Enhancement and Experimentation'. The project explores drug consumption in LGBTQ communities, with a view to generating new insights for service provision on the use of drugs to enhance or transform gender and/or sexual experience. Kiran is also a Chief Investigator on a Monash Interdisciplinary grant on online alcohol and other drug counselling. She retains an affiliate role at Monash University.

Professional memberships and service
Kiran is an invited reviewer for a range of international journals and academic publishing houses in the fields of health sociology and medical humanities; social studies of drugs; and gender and cultural studies. She is also co-convenor of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Health Group; an associate of the Monash Health and Biofutures program; and a member of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), the Australasian Pacific Science and Technology Studies Network (APSTSN), the Australian Women’s Member of Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA), and Nexus: Monash Social Science, Humanities and Medicine Network.

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selected publications