Iran is the only country with a bureaucratically organized and religiously sanctioned policy for kidney sales. Though most fatwas by Iranian Shi'a jurists permit kidney sales, and the majority of transplants originate from paid donors, the development and implementation of the policy has been mired with uncertainty since it's inception.

Elham Mireshghi, UCI anthropology graduate student, studies the relationship between  medical policy, Islamic law and activism surrounding the practice. Funded by both the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, her research examines how the volatile moral alignments necessary for the implementation of the policy emerged, and the consequences that it entailed.

In April, she was one of only 22 recipients to be selected from 600 applicants for a competitive Woodrow Wilson Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Writing fellowship. The honor includes a $25,000 award and will support Mireshghi as she writes up her findings into her doctoral dissertation.

Funding begins in September 2013 and will run through the academic year.

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