Maria De Cillis is an Associate Professor and Head of the Shiʿi Studies Unit (Interim) at the Department of Academic Research and Publications, where she is also the Managing Editor of the Shiʿi Heritage Series. Dr De Cillis obtained her bachelor’s degree (with honours) from the Faculty of Languages and Literatures in the Department of Arabic and English Studies at the Universita' degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Naples, Italy.

She completed her master’s in Islamic Studies (with distinction) and was awarded her PhD in Islamic Studies from the Department of Near and Middle East, Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS University of London.

Dr De Cillis has authored Salvation and Destiny in Islam: The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (2018), Free Will and Predestination in Islamic Thought: Theoretical Compromises in the Works of Avicenna, al-Ghazālī and Ibn ʿArabī (2014) and has co-edited L’ésotérisme shiʿite, ses racines et ses prolongements/Shiʿi Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments (2016), as well as writing a number of book chapters, journal articles and encyclopaedia entries. She has taught the Qurʾan at SOAS University of London, medieval Islamic philosophy and speculative theology at Birkbeck College, University of London.

She continues to teach on Shiʿi Islam and Islamic intellectual history at the IIS.