Professor Peter Smith CBE BSc DSc HonMFPH FMedSci

Professor of Tropical Epidemiology


Peter Smith is Professor of Tropical Epidemiology. He headed the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases until 2002, a position he occupied from the formation of the department in 1997. He graduated in mathematics from City University, London and joined the Medical Research Council's Statistical Research Unit in 1965. Since then he has worked on various aspects of epidemiological and statistical research in: MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics Research Unit, Edinburgh (1967-69); Makerere University Medical School, Uganda (1970-71); International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France and Uganda (1971-72); Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford (1972-79); Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (1987); and the Tropical Diseases Research Programme of WHO (1987). He joined LSHTM in 1979 to head the MRC Tropical Epidemiology Unit and headed the Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences from 1990-96. He served as a Governor of the Wellcome Trust from 2005 to 2014. He currently chairs and serves on a number of international advisory committees including several for the World Health Organisation.




Research interests include large-scale intervention studies against tropical diseases, including vaccine trials, most recently against malaria, dengue and Ebola Virus disease. He was involved in research on the link between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. He also serves on a number of international committees relating to intervention studies against some of the major tropical diseases, including malaria and dengue.

Research areas

  • Clinical trials
  • Diagnostics
  • Disease control
  • Global Health
  • Immunisation
  • Parasites
  • Public health
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Statistical methods
  • Vaccines
  • Viruses


  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics
  • Vaccinology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • CJD
  • Dengue
  • Infectious disease
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Leprosy
  • Malaria
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Tropical diseases
  • Tuberculosis


  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)


  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Malawi
  • Norway
  • Sierra Leone
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Africa
  • BCG
  • BCG Vaccination
  • Bioethics
  • Burden Of Disease
  • Centre for Evaluation
  • Child Mortality
  • Child Survival
  • Cluster Randomised Trials
  • biomedical research and ethics
  • clinical trials unit
Back to top