Joseph Gabriel

Associate Professor of History

Contact Information

Joseph M. Gabriel studies the history of medicine in the United States. Much of his work focuses on the history of drugs and pharmaceuticals in the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. He is also interested in the history of intellectual property, aesthetics, ethics, the early modern circulation of healing goods, and the experience of both pleasure and suffering. He is currently writing two books: the first is on the history of drug addiction in the early United States, while the second is on intellectual property rights and the American pharmaceutical industry in the years between World War I and World War II.

Dr. Gabriel holds joint appointments in the Department of History and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine at the Florida State University College of Medicine. 


Recent Publications:


Crawford, M. and Gabriel, J. eds., Drugs on the Page: Pharmacopeias and Healing Knowledge in the Early Modern Atlantic World (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019).

Gabriel, J.M., Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Articles and book chapters

Gabriel, J.M. and Desai, S. "'The Warmth of His Continuing Interest: Henry K. Beecher, Bioethics, and Pharmaceutical Industry Funding of Academic Medical Science in Cold War America" Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (forthcoming)

Gabriel, J.M. and Holman, B., "Clinical Trials and the Origins of Pharmaceutical Fraud: Parke, Davis & Company, Virtue Epistemology, and the History of the Fundamental Antagonism" History of Science 58:4 (2020), 533-558.

Nichols, C.M., Bristow N., Ewing T., Gabriel, J.M., Montoya, B.C., Outka, E. "Conceptualizing and Teaching the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic in the Age of COVID-19" Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (2020)

Gabriel, J.M. “Jacob Stegenga’s Medical Nihilism: Medical Nihilism, Historical Scholarship, and the Question of Efficacy” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 81 (2020)

#Gabriel, J.M., “Indian Secrets, Indian Cures, and the Early History of the United States Pharmacopoeia” in Crawford, M. and Gabriel, J.M., eds., Drugs on the Page: Pharmacopoeias and Healing Knowledge in the Early Modern Atlantic World (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), 240-262.

Gabriel, J.M. “Psychedelia and the History of the Chemical Sublime” in Temenuga Trifonova, ed., Contemporary Visual Culture and the Sublime (Routledge, 2017).

Gabriel, J.M. “Pharmaceutical Patenting and the Transformation of American Medical Ethics” British Journal of the History of Science (2016)

Crick, N. and Gabriel, J.M., “Medical Narrative and the Rhetoric of Identification: The Many Faces of Anna White Dildane,” Health Communication 31:11 (2016), 1318-1326.

Gabriel, J.M. “Intoxication as Zone of Exception” Invited essay for Ingrid Walker and Alexine Fleck, eds., NANO: New American Notes Online 9 (2016), special issue on intoxication and pleasure.

Gabriel, J.M. “Damage” in Trysh Travis and Timothy Aubry, eds., Re-Thinking Therapeutic Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015), 24-32.

Gabriel, J.M. “The Testing of Sanocrysin: Science, Profit, and Innovation in Clinical Trial Design, 1925-1926” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 69:4 (2014), 604-632. 

Gabriel, J.M. and Goldberg, D. “Big Pharma and the Problem of Disease Inflation” International Journal of Health Services 44:2 (2014), 307-322.

Gabriel, J.M. “Bioart and Biopower: Reflections on the Aestheticization of Life Itself” in Judith Rushin, curator and editor, Heads, Shoulders, Genes, Toes (Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 2013), 15-31.


The College of Medicine





Research Interests

Medicine, biomedical sciences, intellectual property, legal history, cultural history


Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry

During most of the nineteenth century, physicians and pharmacists alike considered medical patenting and the use of trademarks by drug manufacturers unethical forms of monopoly.