Sir Roy M Anderson FRS FMedSci
Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
School of Public Health
St Mary's Campus
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3399
Professor Sir Roy M Anderson FRS, FMedSci
I recently completed a 3 year secondment to the Ministry of Defence as Chief Scientific Adviser and returned to the department as Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in October 2007.
My research interests cover a broad range of infectious agents and address questions at a variety of levels of study, including the interaction between pathogens and the immune system within the host, the spread and persistence of genotypes within pathogen populations and the transmission dynamics, impact and control of diseases within human and other animal communities. A central theme in the research is the study of the interaction between variables that determine the typical course of infection in an individual host and those that determine transmission in communities of hosts. Mathematical and statistical methods play a key role in the research, both in the formulation and testing of hypotheses, in the design of experimental and observational studies and in parameter estimation. The underlying philosophy, in mathematical model construction in the study of infection and immunity, is one of starting simply and slowly building complexity in a manner akin to that of the experimental scientist, where one or a few factors are allowed to vary while others are held constant in the experimental design. The interaction between host and pathogen is a very dynamic one with many non-linearities. Even simple systems may therefore exhibit complicated patterns of behaviour both within the host and in populations of hosts.
Mathematical methods are gaining wide acceptance in the study of infectious agents and the group is at the forefront of developments in a wide variety of fields. The main research projects at present include the study of the epidemiology and control of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in cattle, scrapie in sheep and bovine tuberculosis in cattle, the transmission dynamics and control by vaccination of childhood viral and bacterial infections, the epidemiology, impact and control of the AIDS epidemic in developing countries (and other STDs), the study of antigenically variable pathogens, the epidemiology and control of Dengue virus and the transmission dynamics, population genetics and impact of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
I am involved in extensive research collaboration in many developed and developing countries and have worked for the European Commission, the Canadian US Governments and for US National Academies. I currently chair the science advisory board of WHOs Neglected Tropical Diseases programme, am a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges advisory board, and chair the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative advisory board (SCI) funded by the Gates Foundation. I am currently a non-executive director of GlaxoSmithKline.