Doctors within Borders

Project Details

Project Dates:

Project Lead at Lancaster:

Karolina Follis


Karolina Follis
Luca Follis

Contemporary healthcare systems assume that the people for whom they provide care belong to populations that are largely settled. Yet, we know that people are moving, with migration and health a challenging issue in contemporary society. How do health systems deliver care to those who lack legal settled status or a permanent address?

This project establishes a research network, bringing together experts in health and migration, non-governmental organisations, the NHS and health professionals across Europe who deliver care to such groups. Members of the network explore the often dynamic and novel ways health professionals have engaged with the mobility of their patients, frequently working outside the regular health system.

Dr. Karolina Follis, Senior Lecturer in Politics, PPR (Politics, Philosophy and Religion), Lancaster University. Dr. Follis is a political anthropologist working in the interdisciplinary field of critical border studies. Her work has focused on the contradictions that emerge between citizenship, border regimes and human rights. Her present interest in health and migration/mobility is a continuation of this research trajectory. More

Dr. Luca Follis, Lecturer in Criminology, Law School, Lancaster University. Dr. Follis is a political sociologist who has conducted research on mobilities within the criminal justice landscape and other state infrastructures. He has particular interests in the intersection of healthcare provision and entitlements with social deprivation and legal exclusion. More

Dr. Nicola Burns, Lecturer in Disability Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow. Dr. Burns is an interdisciplinary researcher who has conducted research around migration and health. She has particular interests in the area of disability and migration, viewing disability as a human rights issue. Burns is a member of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) and will host the Glasgow workshop. More

Website: Twitter: @borders_doctors     Email:  doctorsinborders@abilarner

Key Collaborators

Dr Fiona Burns is a Reader in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, Department of Infection and Population Health, University College London. She is also an honorary consultant and inpatient clinical lead in HIV medicine at the Royal Free Hospital. Her research interests include the social, behavioural and clinical dimensions of HIV/STI epidemiology, health care access and social inequalities, and migration and health.

Dr. Kirsty Challen is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medicine Research Lead at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust (NW England).

Ismail Einashe is a freelance journalist and writer working on migration and refugee issues, as well as human rights and conflict. His reporting has appeared in the Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC, NBC News, the Nation, The New York Times and many other places.

Agnieszka Kosowicz is a founder and President of Polish Migration Forum Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in Warsaw. A migrants’ rights advocate, she has coordinated initiatives to assist refugees and migrants in accessing health care in Poland.

Dr. Pawel Lewicki is an anthropologist based at European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (O). His research focuses on cultural diversity in the context of migration and mobility in Europe, particularly on marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS in Berlin.

Dr. Gwyneth Lonergan is a Research Fellow in Sociology at Lancaster University. She is currently undertaking a Wellcome Trust funded project researching migrant women’s experiences of maternity care in northern England.

Dr. Maurizio Milesi is based at the University of Turin and has recently completed a medical residency in infectious disease. He is interested in developing effective forms of treatment for irregular migrants with infectious disease.

Dr. Tullio Prestileo is the Medical Director of the Infectious Disease and Health Migration Unit at the Civic Hospital in Palermo, Sicily. He is a clinician and expert on the challenges of healthcare delivery among migrants and refugees in Italy.

Dr. Teresa Piacentini is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Piacentini’s research focuses on migrant experiences of settlement, integration and belonging including access to services, interpreting and translation. She is the network’s liaison to the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) and contribute as a speaker to the Glasgow workshop.

Dr. Stephanie Sodero is a Banting Postdoctoral Researcher in Medical Anthropology at University of Edinburgh. She is currently exploring vital mobilities (i.e. movements of goods, people and information that impact life chances) in and beyond the UK. More

Advisory Board Members

Professor Monika Buscher is the Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) and Associate Director of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University. Expert in mobilities theory and mobile methods. Her research is on disaster mobilities and the ethical, legal and social issues of IT innovation. She will deliver the keynote at the inaugural workshop. More

Professor Kate O’Donnell is Professor of Primary Care Research and Development at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the delivery of primary care services to marginalised populations and migrant perceptions of health and access to care. She will deliver the keynote at the Glasgow workshop.

Professor Stephen Wilkinson is a bioethicist specialising in human reproductive donation and a holder of Wellcome Senior Investigator Award. He has significant experience managing large collaborative projects at the intersection of academia and medicine. More

Dr. Faraz Ahmed is a Lecturer in Health Inequalities at Lancaster University. He has extensive experience in international health and working with ethnic minority communities in the UK. More