Dr Brianne Wenning is a medical anthropologist situated in the Institute for Global Health at the School of Primary, Community and Social Care. She is the postdoctoral Research Associate in Global Health for the ECLIPSE project (Empowering people with cutaneous leishmaniasis: Intervention programme to improve patient journey and reduce stigma via community education) led by Dr Lisa Dikomitis and Dr Helen Price.

Dr Wenning completed her BA at DePauw University (USA) in 2010 where she majored in anthropology and minored in psychology. She then earned her MSc in Medical Anthropology from Durham University (UK) in 2012 before obtaining her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh (UK) in 2018.

Research and scholarship

Dr Wenning’s interests revolve around mental health, wellbeing and happiness, particularly among refugees and asylum seekers. She has a strong background in qualitative methodology – including ethnography and interviews – and has carried out fieldwork in three different countries: Cameroon, the Gambia and the UK. Her doctoral thesis, titled ‘“Most of the days is really, really good”: Narratives of well-being and happiness among asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and the Gambia’, compared experiences related to posttraumatic growth and the striving for the ‘good’ in life among forced migrants in two very different social, political, economic and historical contexts.

Her current research focuses on the patient journey and experiences of stigma among those suffering from the neglected tropical disease cutaneous leishmaniasis in three different countries: Brazil, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. This research sits within the ECLIPSE project.


Dr Wenning has tutored on two undergraduate courses at the University of Edinburgh in 2017-2018. They were Social Anthropology 1A: The Life Course (Semester 1) and Happiness: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Semester 2).