Professor of Public Health & Primary Care


I am Professor of Public Health and Primary Care with a joint appointment in the Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research and in the Dept of Population Health. I  was previously Director (originally Dean) of LSHTM for nearly 10 years up to October 2010, having previously been Professor of Primary Health Care at UCL between 1987-2000. I worked part-time as a general practitioner in North London for many years.

Between 1993-6 I was on secondment as Director of Research & Development at the NHS Executive, North Thames and I was consultant epidemiologist at  the MRC Epidemiology and Medical Care Unit between 1980-7.  I have also worked internationally in Nepal, Jamaica, Canada and the USA.

I have been a member of a number of major international and national committees including the MRC Global Health Group ( chair) and the MRC Strategy Group. I was formerly chair of the Universities UK Health and Social Care Policy Committee and a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. I was a member of Working Group 2 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the second and third assessment reports and review editor of the health chapter in the fifth assessment report. I chaired the Scientific Advisory Panel for the 2013 WHO World Health Report on Research for Universal Health Coverage. I sit on a number of other national and international committees.




I lecture on the Global Health lecture series and on the DTM&H as well as on a number of other courses.


My research interests are in epidemiology and health services research focussing particularly on research in primary care and the study of environmental influences on health, including the potential effects of climate change and the health co-benefits of the low carbon economy. Previous research includes a number of randomised trials evaluating interventions to change patient and practitioner behaviour and the impact of information and communications technology on primary care. I am also interested in how health systems issues affect the scaling up of primary health care programmes. As chair of an international task force on developing guidance for health system strengthening I  co-authored a series of articles on the challenges of assessing evidence for health systems policies and developing guidance for policymakers.

I chaired an international task force on climate change mitigation and public health which published a series of articles in the Lancet in 2009. My current research includes the study of the health co-benefits and economic impacts of low carbon policies in the transport, food and agriculture and housing sectors. I am a co-investigator on a MRC/NERC project to link environmental and health data in the UK and three Wellcome Trust funded projects on health and sustainability.  I also chaired the Lancet - Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health which assessed the links between environmental sustainability and human health and published its findings in July 2015.


Research areas

  • Climate change
  • Complex interventions
  • Environment
  • Health policy
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Research : policy relationship


  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Non-communicable diseases

Other interests

  • Community Health Workers
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