I am the Professor of Applied Statistics in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford. I am also Professor of Statistical Epidemiology in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. At Imperial I am also Associate Director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling. These roles are relevant because it is through the MRC Centre and WHO Collaborating Centre that we organize large collaborative working groups in response to infectious disease epidemics.
I was a maths major at Oberlin College, a liberal arts college in the US where I also took a wide range of courses including biology, chemistry and environmental sciences. After Oberlin, I studied biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health. I joined Oxford in 1995 when Prof Roy Anderson hired me as the Director of the Statistics Unit at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Epidemiology of Infectious Disease. From 2000 to 2018, I worked exclusively at Imperial. Throughout I have specialised in statistical analysis of the spread and control of infectious diseases including BSE/vCJD, SARS, pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19. I am committed to engaging at the science-policy interface, working to give policymakers the best possible evidence base to inform their decisions.
Understanding COVID-19 transmission, informing control
Tackling a previously unseen pathogen - like the one that causes COVID-19 - is like piecing together a puzzle. There are many different parameters to investigate before the pathogen can be fully understood, and before effective control measures can be put in place. So how do scientists go about solving the puzzle, and why is modelling so...
What does my family want to know about coronavirus?
Coronavirus has been hitting the headlines since late 2019, and is now at the forefront of many people’s minds. We have a lot of questions, and it can be difficult to find answers. In this episode of the Big Questions podcast, Emily is asking her family what *they* would like to know about coronavirus, and Prof Christl Donnelly (an expert in modelling the spread of disease) is on-hand to...