Dr Laurie Denyer Willis

PhD, MSc

Research Fellow

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

Laurie Denyer Willis is a medical anthropologist in the Anti-Microbials in Society (AMIS) Hub (, and Editor of the AMIS online platform, 

Laurie's research concerns the urban and political ecologies of health and the politics of disease in postcolonial landscapes. Her work centres around analyses of gender, infrastructure, racialized poverty, and religion in the suburbs of the Global South, foregrounding Black feminist and decolonial theory to better understand the politics of entrenched inequality related to health and wellbeing in the city. 

Laurie has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Rio de Janeiro's western suburbs, and has just started a new project focused on suburban Kampala, Uganda. 

Laurie's research has won multiple awards, including the 2018 Latin American Studies Association Best Dissertation Award (Brazil Section) and the Margaret Lock Prize in Social Studies of Medicine at McGill. Her research has been supported by competitive grants and funding from numerous external agencies. These include the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK (ESRC), The Wellcome Trust, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), among others. Laurie completed her PhD in Medical Anthropology at McGill University and her Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Her first book project, “The Salvific Sensorium: Pentecostal Life in Suburban Rio de Janeiro”, has been selected by the University of California Press as part of the new series, Atelier: Ethnographic Inquiry in the Twenty-First Century. 

Journal Publications: 

2018. It Smells Like 1,000 Angels Marching: The ‘salvific sensorium’ in Rio de Janeiro’s Western Subúrbios. Cultural Anthropology, 33(2):324-348. Open access here:… 

2015 Allen, D., Badro, V., Denyer Willis, L., MacDonald, E., Pare, A., Hutchinson, T., Barre, P., Bocti, H., Broadbent, A., & Cohen S.R. Fragmented care and whole-person illness: Decision-making for people with chronic end-stage kidney disease. Chronic Illness, 11(1), 44-55. 






Department of Global Health and Development


Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


Research Area
Social and structural determinants of health
Cape Verde
Latin America & Caribbean (all income levels)
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)