Liz Chiarello is an associate professor of sociology at Saint Louis University where she conducts research at the intersections of medical sociology, socio-legal scholarship, and organizational theory. She spent the 2019-2020 academic year as a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is currently working on two primary research projects: the first examines institutional influences on pharmacists' ethical decision-making, and the second examines the contemporary U.S. opioid crisis as a case for understanding how two fields--healthcare and criminal justice--address the same social problem. This study examines institutional collaboration and conflict between criminal justice and healthcare workers, technological influences on frontline work, and implications for inequality in patients' access to care and exposure to the criminal justice system. She teaches several courses including Medical Sociology, Law and Society, Drugs and Society, and Introduction to Sociology. Her firstbook, Policing Patients, is currently under contract at Princeton University Press.

Dr. Chiarello began her academic career when she received a B.A. in psychology from Trinity University, a small liberal arts college in San Antonio, Texas. She then spent two years as the lab manager for the Cohen Lab at the Children's Research Lab at the University of Texas where she ran studies on children's cognitive development. Afterwards, she entered the counseling psychology program at the University of Oregon where she earned her M.Ed. Drawn to the program's ecological model that positions psychological challenges in social context, she switched fields to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Irvine. After graduation, Dr. Chiarello began a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University supported by the Office of Population Research and the Center for Health and Wellbeing. 

Dr. Chiarello has published in an array of journals including Social Science & Medicine, Law & Social Inquiry, Mobilization, Work & Occupations, Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, and the Annual Review of Sociology. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the ACLS/Mellon Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

Dr. Chiarello engages in translational research through public talks and community partnerships. She has presented her work to healthcare providers through Grand Rounds, has shared work with public health advocates and practitioners at the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA), and has discussed research findings through podcasts and op-eds. She also serves on the advisory board for the SAMHSA-funded MO-HOPE project, a collaboration between NCADA and the Missouri Institute for Mental Health that aims to increase first responders' use of naloxone.

Curriculum vitae

Updated January 4, 2021


Mailing Address: 3700 Lindell Boulevard Morrissey Hall ◆ Room 1915 ◆ St. Louis, MO 63108-3342

E-mail Address: liz.chiarello@slu.edu

Phone: (314) 977-2725

Fax: (314) 977-3623