Adriane Hunsberger Gelpi graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in March 2002 with an A.B. in History and Science and a certificate in Mind, Brain, Behavior studies. Her senior thesis won both the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize and the Rothschild Prize. Entitled Experimental Space and the Problem of Double Consciousness in Turn of the Century Boston, her thesis explored how three prominent Boston psychologists employed both philosophical inquiry and new empirical techniques of the psychological laboratory to investigate the popular phenomena of multiple personality disorder, spirit possession and the séance.
In the summer of 2001, Gelpi volunteered at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical Trust in rural India, developing curricular materials for a local preschool and conducting health education at a medical center. After graduation, Gelpi returned to her hometown of New York City where she first worked as an editorial assistant at Cambridge University Press in the social science division. She then launched a career in freelance science and medical editing and writing, which led to a collaboration with Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, a neurosurgeon and president of the Brain Trauma Foundation, to develop a proposal for a book on consciousness and the brain.
In fall 2005, Gelpi entered the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health to pursue a Master's in Public Health, in the History and Ethics track. In the summer of 2006, she traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for her MPH practicum. There, she worked at the Millennium Development Goals Center at the United Nations conducting policy analysis on Kenya's malaria programs. Gelpi's master's thesis analyzed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative from both an ethical and historical perspective.
Entering the Harvard PhD Program in Health Policy in the fall 2007, her current research interests focus on the ethics of public health policy in developing nations, with particular interest in resource allocation and priority-setting. Ms. Gelpi is a recipient of the Harvard Graduate Prize Fellowship as well as a traineeship from the National Institutes of Mental Health.