Diane Tober, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Institute for Health & Aging
SchoolSchool of Nursing
Address490 Illinois Street, #11431
San Francisco CA 94158
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0003-1416-093X Additional info
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    UC Berkeley/UCSFPhD2000Medical Anthropology

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    Medical Anthropologist. Areas of research and publication include: Family Planning; Afghan Refugees; LGBTQ Families; Sperm, Egg and Kidney Donation/Sale; Reproductive Technologies and Bioethics; Cross-border Fertility Travel; Sexuality and Gender; Critical Medical Anthropology; Reproductive Health Policy; Mixed Methods Research; Documentary Film; Iran, Middle East, Spain, US.
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    Oocyte Retrieval for Donation or Preservation: Exploring Impacts on Physical and Emotional Health
    Research Allocation Program/UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health Research Jan 1, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
    Role: PI
    Description: This research is a comparative study of two different groups that undergo controlled ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval—egg donors and elective egg freezers. Our aims are: 1) To understand the economic and social factors that influence people’s decisions to provide eggs for pay compared to those who elect to freeze their own eggs; 2) To understand how ovulation induction and oocyte retrieval affect individual health and well-being, depending upon how the oocytes will be used. This preliminary investigation will examine how different people come to view their eggs as materials to be shared, sold, or frozen, and how socio-economic status, race/ancestry, and gender identity intersect with individuals’ positions vis a vis their eggs. It will also build an essential collaboration for initiating long-term data collection on health outcomes for people who have undergone COS. This research could benefit prospective, current, and former egg providers/donors, people considering freezing their own eggs, people considering using an egg donor to create their families, and professionals working in the field of infertility and third-party reproduction. The work will also contribute to broader feminist social science debates surrounding technology, the body, and reproductive health and justice.
    The Effects of Socio-Cultural Context on Human Biomarkets
    National Science Foundation 1828783Aug 1, 2018 - Jul 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Description: The research supported by this award will investigate the effects of socio-cultural context on the governance of human bio-material donation and sale. Over the past few decades, medical science has increased the potential uses of human bio-materials. However, as innovation has increased, so have questions about costs, outcomes, and ethics. In response, a variety of different regulatory policies have been adopted globally. This variation across countries provides an excellent opportunity for comparative research to see to what degree policy differences produce different outcomes for donors, recipients, and other stakeholders. In this project, researchers will focus on one area of bio-material donation -- compensated donation of human eggs -- in two different cultural contexts. Results from this research will benefit policy makers, medical professionals, and patient and provider advocates. The project also provides research training opportunities for graduate students. The research will be carried out by Dr. Diane Tober, a medical anthropologist from the University of California, San Francisco, in collaboration with researchers from the Spanish University of Distance Education and from Complutense University, both in Madrid, Spain. These research sites were chosen because the United States and Spain are the two primary locations for donor egg fertility treatment, but their bio-material markets operate within dramatically different cultural and regulatory environments. The U.S. has comparatively few regulations limiting donor selection, compensation, and identification, while Spain is highly regulated, limits donor compensation, and requires donor anonymity. The researchers will collect data through ethnographic observation in two or more clinics in each country; interviews with medical professionals in the fertility industry and other key informants; and interviews and surveys of women in each country who provide eggs for pay, including both experienced and first-time donors. The quantitative data will be analyzed with standard statistical methods; the qualitative ethnographic data will be examined using computer-assisted qualitative data analytical techniques and through narrative analysis. Results, presented in professional publications and at conferences, will help social scientists understand how underlying cultural logics inform the crafting and regulation of medical markets and the commodification of human bio-materials. Results will also be made available through policy briefs and public fora to assist policy makers who need to understand how regulatory differences affect outcomes, as well as patients and donors who participate in bio-material markets.
    Decisions and Experiences of Egg Providers
    UCSF RAP Individual Investigator Grant Dec 1, 2015 - Jul 1, 2017
    Description: This pilot research explores how women decide to become oocyte donors, their experiences with egg donation process, their satisfaction with their decision, and perceptions of children born from their eggs. Through qualitative, open-ended, semi-structured interviews, combined with quantitative surveys, data from this research can be used to increase egg donor satisfaction and improve informed consent.

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Fertility and Sterility. Subjective psychological factors associated with egg donors undergoing additional donations after their first donation cycle. 2021; 114(3):e276. Diane Tober, PhD, Kevin S. Richter, PhD, Shannon Kokjohn, MSc, Dougie Zubizarreta, BA, Katarina Cook, BS, Said Daneshmand, MD . View Publication.
    2. Emotion, Embodiment, and Reproductive Colonialism in the Global Human Egg Trade. Gender, Work and Organization. 2021. Diane Tober and Charlotte Kroløkke. . View Publication.
    3. Sociology of Health and Illness. Review: C. Kroløkke, Global Fluids: The Cultural Politics of Reproductive Waste and Value. 2020. Diane Tober. . View Publication.
    4. The Oocyte Economy: The Changing Meaning of Human Eggs. Contemporary Sociology A Journal of Reviews. 2020 Nov 1; 49(6):542-544. Tober TD. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    5. Alignment between expectations and experiences of egg donors: what does it mean to be informed?. Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online. 2020; 12(2021):1-13. Diane Tober, Christina Garibaldi, Alden Blair, Kimberly Baltzell. View Publication.
    6. Fertility and Sterility. Frequency and Severity of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) Among Oocyte Donors According to Trigger Type and Number of Eggs Retrieved. 2020; 114(3). Diane Tober, PhD, Kevin S. Richter, PhD, Cristina Garibaldi, MS, Kezia Mostak, MSShannon Kokjohn, MSc, Raquel Cool, BA, Dougie Zubizarreta, BA, Natalia Villegas, BS, Katarina Cook, BS, Said Daneshmand, MD ?. View Publication.
    7. Fertility and Sterility. Egg donor perceptions of long-term adverse outcomes. 2020; 114(3):e278-e279. Diane Tober, PhD, Kevin S. Richter, PhD, Cristina Garibaldi, MS, Kezia Mostak, MS, Natalia Villegas, BS, Dougie Zubizarreta, BA, Raquel Cool, BA, Katarina Cook, BS, Shannon Kokjohn, MSc, Said Daneshmand, MD . View Publication.
    8. Social Forces. Review of “Between Families and Frankenstein: The Politics of Egg Donation in the United States”. 2019. Diane Tober. . View Publication.
    9. Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the Making of Modern Families. 2019; 240. Diane Tober. . View Publication.
    10. Evaluating the capacity of California's publicly funded universities to provide medication abortion. Contraception. 2018 10; 98(4):306-311. Raifman S, Anderson P, Kaller S, Tober D, Grossman D. PMID: 29778584.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    
    11. Las bioeconomías de la provisión de óvulos en Estados Unidos y en España: una comparación de los mercados médicos y las implicaciones en la atención a las donantes. Revista de Anthropologia Social. 2018; 2(27):261-286. Diane Tober and Vincenzo Pavone. . View Publication.
    12. Introduction: Why Islam, Health and the Body?. Body & Society. 2007 Sep 1; 13(3):1-13. Tober TD, Budiani BD. .
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    13. Kidneys and Controversies in the Islamic Republic of Iran: The Case of Organ Sale. Body & Society. 2007 Sep 1; 13(3):151-170. Tober TD. .
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    14. “My Body Is Broken Like My Country”: Identity, Nation, and Repatriation among Afghan Refugees in Iran. Iranian Studies. 2007 Apr 16; 40(2):263-285. Tober TD. .
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    15. Introduction: Afghan Refugees and Returnees. Iranian Studies. 2007 Apr 16; 40(2):133-135. Tober TD. .
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    16. “My Body is Broken Like My Country”: Identity, Nation, and Repatriation among Afghan Refugees in Iran. Iranian Studies. 2007; 2(40). Tober, DM.
    17. "Fewer children, better life" or "as many as God wants"? Family planning among low-income Iranian and Afghan refugee families in Isfahan, Iran. Med Anthropol Q. 2006 Mar; 20(1):50-71. Tober DM, Taghdisi MH, Jalali M. PMID: 16612993.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    18. Children in the Field and the Methodological Challenges of Research in Iran. Iranian Studies. 2004; 4(37):643. Tober, DM.
    19. Parents' Conceptualization of their Frozen Embryos. Fertility and Sterility. 2003; 3(80):49. Nachtigall R, Becker G, Tober D, Friese C, Butler A.
    20. Semen as Gift, Semen as Goods: Reproductive Workers and the Market in Altruism. Body & Society. 2001 Sep 1; 7(2-3):137-160. Tober TD. .
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    21. Semen as Gift, Semen as Goods: Reproductive Workers and the Market in Altruism. Body and Society. 2001; 7(2-3):137. Tober, Diane M .
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