Laura Bisaillon

Laura Bisaillon
Assistant Professor


I am a sociologist of health and illness specializing in qualitative methods and the social studies of HIV-related policy and Canadian immigration law. I use the social organization of knowledge approach and institutional ethnography as forms of inquiry.

The bulk of my work to date has explored immigration medical inadmissibility decision-making and its consquences. “Screening and Screaming in Exile: Medical Examination and the Immigration Health Work of People with HIV” is the name of my monograph, currently under review with UBC Press. Since 2013, I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran and Romania. I am appointed in Political Science, Social Justice Education, and the Centre de recherches en éducation franco-ontarienne. I teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students in English and French.

Research Interests: 

HIV/AIDS, Horn of Africa, immigration policies and politics, institutional ethnography, medical inadmissibility, migration, social organization of knowledge, sociology of health and illness 

Teaching Interests: 

  • L’ethnographie institutionnelle : pratiques d’une sociologie alternative
  • Critical and Creative Qualitative Health Research Methods
  • Feminist Health Policy Analysis
  • Migration and Public Health

Awards and Grants: 

  • Best Staff and Faculty Award: Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, 2018-19
  • Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation, 2017 and 2020
  • Visiting Professor, University of Bucharest, 2018
  • Senior Academic Fellow, Comparative Program on Health and Society, 2014-15
  • Connaught New Researcher, University of Toronto, 2014
  • Best Dissertation in Canada, Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, 2013
  • Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal, University of Ottawa, 2012
  • Joseph De Konink Prize, Best Interdisciplinary Dissertation, University of Ottawa, 2012




  • Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia University
  • Centre for Refugee Studies, York University
  • Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health, UofT
  • Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies, UofT
  • Migration and Health Project Southern Africa, Witwatersrand University
  • Université de l’Ontario français, Toronto


PhD (Ottawa), MUP (McGill), BA (Bishop’s), CEP (Strasbourg III)