Diane Tober received her doctorate in Medical Anthropology from the UC-Berkeley/UCSF joint program, and has since conducted a broad range of work on international health, assisted reproduction, and family planning issues in the United States, Iran, and the Palestinian Territories. Her research work explores concerns related to bioethics, the commodification of the body, assisted reproduction, and human rights and social justice in multi-cultural contexts.
In 2000-2002, while a Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Post-Doctoral Fellow, she conducted research in the sperm-banking industry, with sperm donors, and with women choosing donors, to explore how lay perceptions of genetics influence donor choice. She was a Faculty member at the UCSF Institute for Health and Aging, where she worked on projects related to donor insemination and decisions surrounding disclosure in the United States. After conducting research in Iran in 2002, exploring perceptions and use of family planning among Afghan refugees and low-income Iranians, she developed a photographic essay exhibit, Iran and the Afghan Diaspora: 2001-2006, that toured many Bay Area libraries. She has published articles of her work in numerous scholarly journals, such as Body and Society, Medical Anthropology Quarterly and Iranian Studies. She also co-edited a special volume entitled Islam, Health and the Body: Science and Religion in the Modern Muslim World for Body and Society and another volume entitled Afghan Refugees and Returnees: Culture and Survival in the Face of War, Violence, and Dislocation, for the journal Iranian Studies.
Dr. Tober also worked as Executive Director of Unique Zan Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting health and literacy for women in and from the Middle East, and as Communications and Outreach Director and Research Director at Pars Equality Center. She is most recently a Scholar in Residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Group on Gender at the University of California, Berkeley, for her project exploring concerns surrounding health and family among Palestinian women in the West Bank.