Simon Brooker BA MSc (Econ) DPhil

Professor of Epidemiology

Background

I am a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and lead a group of epidemiologists interested in the epidemiology and control of parasitic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the spatial epidemiology of neglected tropical diseases, the targeting of cost-effective control strategies, the burden and control of malaria in schools, and Plasmodium-helminth coinfection. In this work, our group integrates robust spatial and economic statistical methods with substantive field research to address questions of practical public health relevance. We place a strong emphasis on developing an evidence base that can be used by policy makers and programme implementers, and close involvement with national control programmes and international agencies help promote the effective translation of research findings into practical action.

I have a first degree in Human Sciences and a doctorate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the University of Oxford and a Master's in Health Economics from City University, London. Before joining LSHTM in 2002, I held research appointments at the University of Oxford and Imperial College, and have lived and worked in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

I am deputy editor of the open access journal, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Affiliation

Centres

Teaching

I co-organize (with Rachel Pullan) the study unit Spatial Epidemiology in Public Health, and sit on the exam board for the MSc Control of Infectious Diseases. I also contribute to a number of other study units, including Parasitology and Entomology and Disease Agents and their Control.

I currently supervise two PhD students: Stella Kepha (plasmodia-helminth interactions) and Rebecca Mann Flueckiger (spatial epidemiology of trachoma).

Research

Our research is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, and GlaxoSmithKline, and focuses on three main areas:

Global Atlas of Helminth Infection. Information about the distribution of helminth infection is central to the effectiveness of control efforts. We are developing a global atlas to help define the number of individuals at risk of infection and to determine areas requiring mass treatment. Our overall goal is to develop an open-access, global information resource on the distribution of soil-transmitted helminth infections, schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis: This Wormy World

Malaria control in school children in Africa. Malaria control in Africa has traditionally focused on pre-school children and pregnant women, but as transmission intensity declines school-aged children will become an important risk group, warranting intervention. To help address this issue, we are conducting a range of studies in Kenya, Mali and Malawi investigating the health and educational benefits of malaria prevention.

Epidemiology of malaria-helminth co-infection. Individuals living in the tropics are simultaneously infected with a variety of parasites, including malaria and helminths. Yet little is known about which individuals are most at-risk of co-infection, where they live and what factors determines co-infection. To address this, we are conducting a range of field studies in East Africa investigating the epidemiology of co-infection and its consequences for health.

Research areas

  • Disease control
  • Economic evaluation
  • Helminths
  • Parasites
  • Surveillance

Disciplines

  • Economics
  • Epidemiology
  • GIS/Spatial analysis
  • Operational research

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Infectious disease
  • Malaria

Regions

  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Countries

  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
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