Our staff


Lauren Kassell directs the Casebooks Project. She conceived it, is responsible for its design and management, and oversees the editing, website and other outputs. She is Reader in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her acclaimed study of Simon Forman was published in 2005, and she has written on other aspects of the histories of medicine, gender, astrology, alchemy, and magic in early modern England. She is also a co-applicant on a major project on Generation to Reproduction, funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award.

Technical Director

Michael Hawkins is the project’s Technical Director. He has worked on the project since its inception, and is responsible for all technical aspects, including the establishment of the encoding policies, the development of the search function, the design of the website and the management of digital assets. Since completing his PhD on Thomas Willis’s neurocartography of the passions in 2004 at the Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College, London, he has served as Technical Director of numerous digital humanities projects, including the Newton Project and Enlightening Science (both at the University of Sussex), Livingstone Online (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL) and the British Living Standards Project (University of Sussex). He was also the Project Manager of Windows on Genius (University of Sussex, Cambridge University Library). In addition to his duties at Casebooks, he is also the Technical Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project (Cambridge University Library), the Wordsworth Project and the Cambridge Platonists Project (both at Cambridge University).

Senior Editors

Robert Ralley has worked on the Casebooks Project since it was piloted in 2008. As a Senior Editor on the project, he works in tandem with John Young to transcribe and edit the casebooks. He has independently transcribed and edited Forman’s major guide to astrology and supplied it with an introduction and a guide to witnesses and dating. He wrote a PhD dissertation on clerical physicians in fifteenth-century England (Cambridge, 2005), held a Wellcome Research Fellowship focussing on ‘Medical Times in Late Medieval England’, and has published on the history of medicine, astrology and magic. He has transcribed Forman vols. 1, 3, 5 and 6 and Napier vols. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19; checked Forman vols. 2 and 4 and Napier vols. 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, half of 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30; and is the transcriber of numerous supplementary manuscripts.

John Young has worked as a Senior Editor on the Casebooks Project since it was launched in 2010. He and Robert Ralley share responsibility for transcribing and editing the casebooks, and Young is principal author of the project’s Transcription guidelines. He took a PhD in history at Sheffield University, where he worked as a transcriber on the Hartlib Papers and John Foxe projects. From 2000 to 2010 he was Transcription and Tagging Manager for the Newton Project, on which he retains a role as consultant. He is the author of Faith, Medical Alchemy and Natural Philosophy: Johann Moriaen, Reformed Intelligencer, and the Hartlib Circle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998) and co-compiler of the Newton Manuscripts Catalogue . For Casebooks, he has transcribed Forman vols. 2 and 4 and Napier vols. 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 20, 21 and 34; checked Forman vols. 1, 3, 5 and 6 and Napier vols. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, half of 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 27, 28, 29 and 31.

Assistant Editors

Joanne Edge joined the project as an Assistant Editor in 2014. She studied for a BA at Oxford University and Goldsmiths’ College, before embarking on the MA in Medieval Studies at UCL. She completed her PhD, entitled ‘Nomen omen: The “Sphere of Life and Death” in England, c. 1200 – c. 1500’ at Royal Holloway University of London, under the supervision of Peregrine Horden, in September 2014. For the last year of her PhD she was a Scouloudi pre-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, and was employed part-time at the Wellcome Library tasked with improving the online medieval manuscripts catalogue. Her research interests include all matters related to medieval and early modern medicine, magic and divination. She has transcribed half of Napier vol. 13 and Napier vols. 16, 23, 24, 27, 29, 31, 32 and 33. She also produces the project’s Twitter feed, which can alternatively be accessed from the project’s Facebook page.

Janet Yvonne Martin-Portugues joined the project as an Assistant Editor in 2014. She has a BSc in Psychology from the University of London. She has worked for Universal Pictures International managing digital assets, for Amnesty International as liaison officer between the International Secretariat in London and the section offices worldwide, and for the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex as a research assistant. She has been a freelance transcriber and encoder for the Newton Project since 2004 and was project manager for the Enlightening Science Project. She has transcribed half of Napier vol. 13 and Napier vols. 22, 25, 26, 28, 30 and 35.

Research Fellows

Boyd Brogan joined the project in 2014, funded by the Isaac Newton Trust, and then in 2015 secured a Wellcome Trust research fellowship for a project on ‘Maladies of seed: chastity diseases in early modern England’. He completed his D.Phil. on medical and ethical themes in early modern pastoral romance at Oxford in 2012, and diseases of women as recorded in Napier’s casebooks are a central component of his past and future research. He is the author of our Meet the patients page.

Natalie Kaoukji, who joined us in autumn 2014, is a research fellow on the project. Her areas of interest are time and temporal frameworks for natural knowledge, and recording, accumulation and literary monument. In addition, she works with Lauren Kassell on an arts project in collaboration with Ambika P3 at the University of Westminster, supported by a Provision for Public Engagement grant.


The Casebooks Project would like to thank Leah Astbury, Ofer Hadass and Elaine Leong for their constructive criticism and their help in interpreting some of the terminology used in the cases.

Gina Czarnecki joined the Advisory Board (2014–15) to assist with the development of the project’s engagement framework.

Document last modified: 1 February 2017

Cite this as: Casebooks Project (Staff), http://www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/about-us/staff, accessed 2018-08-17.