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Dr Michelle Pentecost is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Global Health. A physician-anthropologist by training, her research and publication record reflects her work and interest across disciplines including clinical medicine, anthropology, science and technology studies, urban studies and global health. Michelle holds a degree in medicine from the University of Cape Town and has a decade of work experience as a clinician in South Africa.

She defended her doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2017, specialising in the anthropology of postgenomics and global health. She is a founding member of the Health Professions Special Interest Group of the Medical and Health Humanities Africa Network. She is especially interested in the contemporary roles of the physician (and the physician-anthropologist) across the clinical, academic and public sectors, and the opportunities and challenges that accompany them.


Dr Pentecost is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. Her current research in South Africa investigates the social and ethical implications of public health interventions in the early life period from preconception to early childhood, and develops innovative qualitative methodologies for studying the social factors that shape life trajectories. For more information and recent publications visit or follow on twitter @medanthdoc. 

Research Interests

  • Maternal and child health
  • Politics of medicine
  • Medical humanities

PhD Supervision

Dr Pentecost invites queries for PhD supervision in the following areas: -anthropology of global health -anthropology of science/medicine -science and technology studies -history and philosophy of science.

Further details

See Michelle's research profile