Portrait of Professor Lisa Dikomitis

Professor Lisa Dikomitis

Director, Centre for Health Services Studies || Director of Research, Kent and Medway Medical School || Professor of Medical Anthropology and Social Sciences
PhD, PGCert, MA, BA, BA (Hons), SFHEA


Lisa Dikomitis is a Belgian-Cypriot anthropologist and works in global health, migration and refugee studies, health services research and medical education. She was educated in Dutch at universities in Belgium. She holds degrees in Anthropology and Sociology, Education and History of Art.  Dikomitis was awarded her PhD in March 2010, worked as postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University in Belgium (2010-12) and at the Hull York Medical School (2012-14). She took up her first permanent position as Lecturer at the University of Hull in March 2014, moved to Keele’s School of Medicine as Senior Lecturer in July 2016 where she was promoted to full Professor in December 2019. She joined the Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) in January 2022 and took up her appointment as Director of the Centre of Health Services Studies (CHSS) in September 2023.

After completing significant ethnographic work on refugee issues and displacement, Professor Dikomitis expanded her research beyond social anthropology to engage with timely issues in medical anthropology, health services research and global health. Her work is characterised by generating bridges between radically different academic disciplines, in creativity with the arts and genuine community engagement that fosters equity, diversity and inclusion. She published over 80 peer-reviewed publications, including a monograph and edited volumes.  Strongly committed to communicating science publicly, she curated several exhibitions and podcasts, and regularly writes for non-academic audiences.

Professor Dikomitis was awarded over £19 million from UK funding bodies, of which over £9 million as lead investigator. This includes funding for research programmes and for research capacity building. Selection of funded research:


Research areas

Refugee and migration research

Professor Dikomitis conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork among Greek and Turkish Cypriot refugees on the effects of protracted conflict. This resulted in her internationally acclaimed monograph Cyprus and its Places of Desire: Cultures of Displacement among Greek and Turkish Cypriot Refugees, and several publications, including in Anthropology Today, in When God Comes to Town and in When the Cemetery Becomes Political. She has conducted fieldwork among Polish migrants in Hull (Remember Me) and is member of the CLARENCE team, exploring the experiences of migrants from Central and Eastern Europe with primary care and mental health services in the UK (Health Expectations and BJGP). She is currently leading, with Professor Sukhi Shergill, a research programme on migrant mental health, working closely with communities across Kent.

Global health research

Professor Dikomitis is directing UK-funded programmes of global health research in Brazil, Ethiopia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. This research addresses the social and cultural health determinants, policies and health systems in societies experiencing major social and political change. Research is always carried out in partnership with local communities, NGOs and academic colleagues to improve health outcomes and health equity. Professor Dikomitis led the MRC-AHRC funded SOLACE (SOLACE website,) on public health in remote, rural and coastal areas of the Philippines and currently co-leads ECLIPSE (ECLIPSE website), on cutaneous leishmaniasis. She also leads qualitative and ethnographic work packages on mental health research in Pakistan and leishmaniasis research in India. Dikomitis is lead editor of a Special Issue of Social Science Perspectives in Global Health.

Community engagement and involvement

Dikomitis has pioneered new and transformative ways of conducting interdisciplinary global health research, combining anthropology, development studies and health services research with culturally appropriate and context-bespoke community engagement. For instance, cultural animation in health research (Health Expectations), community engagement in global health research (BMJ and Frontiers in Public Health), co-producing public health guidelines in Brazil (book chapter), patient and public involvement (PPI) in self-harm research (Health Expectations), a decolonial approach to engaging community members (Frontiers in Public Health) and how to embed community engagement in times of crisis (BMJ Global Health).

Health service research

This strand includes research on cluster headache (BJGP, Neurological Sciences, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Brain Sciences),  mental health (BJGP, British Journal of Psychiatry, EClinicalMedicine by The Lancet), musculoskeletal conditions (Trials, Clinical RehabilitationMusculoskeletal CareBJPG OpenRheumatology), COVID-19 (BJSWBMJ Paediatr Open), cancer (Primary Health Care Research and Development, Environmental Research and Development) and  on the social production of health policies and institutional neglect (Societies).

Medical education research

Professor Dikomitis conducted a number of high-impact research projects in medical education and published about researching curriculum development (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education), assessments in medical education (Medical Education), anthropology in medical education (Springer Anthropology), palliative care component in medical education (BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care), embedding social and behavioural sciences in the medical curriculum (Societies), about the understanding biomedical uncertainty in medical education (Medical Science Educator) and how to embed ethnography in clinical research (Wiley Blackwell).


Professor Dikomitis taught a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate social science and medical students in Belgium, Cyprus, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the UK. She taught social science components of the medical curriculum, qualitative research methods and a range of modules in medical anthropology and sociology of health and illness. She led major curriculum developments in social science and medical education, including the design and implementation of an MSc in Social Research (University of Hull) and an overhaul of the behavioural and social science components in Keele’s MBChB. Professor Dikomitis is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE (previous Higher Education Academy) and an experienced external examiner, including for Medicine at the University of Leeds (2019-24), Medicine at the University of Birmingham (2018-23) and Sociology at Goldsmiths (2016-19).


Postgraduate Supervision

Professor Dikomitis has supervised 7 doctoral students and over 40 research master students, she examined 13 doctoral dissertations in anthropology, sociology and health services studies.

Professor Dikomitis is lead supervisor of:

She is co-supervisor of:

  • Dr Aaron Poppleton, who works with Central and Eastern Europeans in the UK with a focus on mental health in primary care
  • Ms Mahlet Alemu, who is conducting an ethnography on cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • Mr Binega Hagos, who works on community engagement in leishmaniasis research


Research leadership roles

Professor Dikomitis has robust experience and expertise of managerial and research leadership roles. She is the Inaugural Co-Director of Research at the Kent and Medway Medical School, was  Director of Research at Keele’s School of Medicine, Founding Director of Keele’s Institute of Global health, and Institutional Lead for methods training at Keele’s ESRC DTP. She is also an active member of various steering groups, recruitment panels and has a strong engagement with the UK health funders. Professor Dikomitis chaired multiple strategic interdisciplinary networks, including a Task and Finish Group on mentoring in global health research for the NIHR Academy. She is currently the Chair of the Independent Steering Committee of the Norfolk Initiative for Coastal and rural Health Equalities (NICHE).

Editorial roles at academic journals

Roles at UK funding bodies

Professor Dikomitis has been member of NIHR, AHRC, MRC and Wellcome funding panels, she is also member of several UK funding boards and committees, including:

Public Engagement

Through contributions in the media, public lectures, project websites, podcasts and workshops in community organisations Professor Dikomitis communicates research with the public. During her outreach activities (in schools, patient and community organisations) she enthuses audiences that would ordinarily not directly engage with research. She was awarded the Keele University Excellence Award for Public Engagement with Research in June 2019.

See also SOLACE blogsSOLACE podcasts and ECLIPSE Newsletters

Media engagement (selection)

  • Article (20.05.2021), Somatosphere, link
  • Article (19.04.2021), The Conversation, link 
  • Newspaper interview (19.03.2021), The Guardian, link
  • Blog (19.01.2021), Anthropology and Gerontology, link 
  • Article (06.06.2020), Science Alert, link 
  • Article (02.06.2020), News Medical Life Sciences, link 
  • Article (02.06.2020), The Conversation, link 
  • Newspaper interview (02.06.2020), The Guardian, link

Art and research

The SOLACE team (led by Professor Dikomits) engaged community members, volunteers, healthcare professionals in remote, underserved areas in the Philippines. Based on the ethnographic data, dance artist and anthropologist Clarissa Mijares imagined the data into movement, working with a sound designer and a Waray choreographer. This was performed in Manilla and available to watch here.

The ECLIPSE team (co-led by Professor Dikomitis) has created several community-led films, podcasts, photo essays and exhibitions.

In collaboration with artists and curators, Professor Dikomitis led on public exhibitions in different countries to communicate our research findings with a non-academic public.

  • UK: ANGLES-ECLIPSE exhibition, Keele University Art Gallery (October – December 2021)
  • UK: 3 exhibitions at Stoking Curiosity: Unruly Minds, ECLIPSE and SOLACE (November 2019)
  • PHILIPPINES: Rural health in the Philippines, Ateneo Art Gallery (September 2019)
  • UK: SOLACE exhibition, Keele University Art Gallery (May 2019)
  • BELGIUM: Unruly minds: Evolution of mental health care in Flanders, Exhibition at the Psychiatric Hospital of Menen Flanders (October 2017)
  • BELGIUM: Of women, patients and nuns, Exhibition at a 3-day conference organised by the Belgian Gender Studies Network (October 2015)


Last updated 6 February 2024