Laura Bisaillon

Photo of Laura Bisaillon
Assistant Professor


I am an interdisciplinary scholar of health and illness specializing in interpretive methods and the social studies of HIV-related policy and medical inadmissibility in Canadian immigration law. The bulk of my work to date has explored immigration medical inadmissibility decision-making and its consequences. “Screening and Screaming in Exile: Medical Examination and the Immigration Health Work done by 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 cross-appointed at OISE in 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: 

  • Research Fellowship, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Amsterdam, 2020-21
  • Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation, 2020
  • Best Staff and Faculty Award: Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, 2018-19
  • Visiting Professor, University of Bucharest, 2018
  • Visiting Researcher, Brocher Foundation, 2017 
  • 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




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