Dr Sharon Cox

Bsc Msc PhD

Associate Professor
Professor of Epidemiology & Nutrition at Nagasaki School of Tropical Medicine & Global Health

School of Tropical Medicine & Global Health
Nagasaki University

+44 (0) 207 927 2797

+44 (0) 207 958 8111

I graduated from University College London with a BSc. (Biochemistry, First Class Hons) in 1996, followed by a post graduate teaching qualification (1997), a Masters in Public Health Nutrition at LSHTM (1998) and finally a PhD, also at LSHTM (2003). My PhD comprised a clinical trial in Ghana of low-dose maternal vitamin A supplementation to determine effects on immunity to malaria in pregnancy. In 2002 I became a staff member at LSHTM within the MRC International Nutrition Group and worked on malaria and anemia in Gambian children. In 2007 I moved to be based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, working mostly on sickle cell disease. In 2015 I was appointed as a Professor at the School of Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nagasaki, where I am now based. I hold a joint position as an Associate Professor at LSHTM. 


Department of Population Health
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Malaria Centre
Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Tuberculosis (TB) Centre


I have previously taught and managed units within the MSc in Nutrition for Global Health and I have been a tutor for units on distance based learning MSc courses: ID202 “Nutrition and Infection” (MSc Infectious Diseases) & EPM201 "Study Design: writing a grant application" (MSc Epidemiology). 

In my role at the Nagasaki Graduate School of Tropical Medicine & Global Health, I am involved in a new MSc in Global Health taught alongside a Masters in Public Health and MSc in Tropical Medicine. I coordinate the joint teaching in epidemiology and statistics between LSHTM and Nagasaki staff on the above Masters programmes. I also teach sessions on epidemiology, research methodology and organise the Nutrition and Global Health module in Semester 3.


Nutrition and Tuberculosis

In collaboration with colleagues in infectious diseases I am conducting research to investigate how nutrition and nutritional management of moderate and severe acute malnutrition and diabetes may determine outcomes of diseases like TB. This includes a study of acutely unwell patients admitted to the TB ward in the Philippines with investigators from the San Lazaro Hospital, Manila. I am also collaborating with the Nutrition Centre Philippines and the Filipino National TB Programme on research on malnutrition and diabetes in TB in the Philippines. This includes a recently completed cross-sectional study in TB patients recieving anti-TB treatment through public TB-DOTS clinics in sites in Manila and rural/semi-rural sites in the Western Visayas Region (ISRCTN12506117).

Other research areas include:

  • Maternal and child health: focussing on nutrition and infection and effects on growth and anaemia.
  • Detection and management of malnutrition in hospitalized children (all ages)  
  • Nutrition and infections in the development of chronic, non communicable diseases, in particular diabetes and hypertension
  • Sickle cell disease in LMIC

My previous research in sickle cell disease in Tanzaia is outlined below.  

I worked with the Muhimbili Sickle Cohort in Tanzania, comprising over 4,000 patients in routine follow-up  since 2007. My research has focussed on nutritional and genetic modulation of sickle cell disease (SCD). We completed a Wellcome Trust funded clinical trial of a nutraceutical intervention in children with SCD with primary endpoints of growth and improved vascular function (ISRCTN74331412);  Lancet Haematology 2018 in press.  My main collaborators in the Muhimbili Sicke Cohort are Dr Julie Makani, (Muhimbili University of Health & Allied Sciences & University of Oxford) & Professor Charles Newton (University of Oxford & KEMRI-Kilifi, Kenya).




Research Area
Child health
Maternal health
Global Health
Genetic epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Cardiovascular disease
Infectious disease
Non-communicable diseases
Tropical diseases
Gambia, The
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Effect of Daily Antenatal Iron Supplementation on Plasmodium Infection in Kenyan Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Mwangi, M.N. ; Roth, J.M. ; Smit, M.R. ; Trijsburg, L. ; Mwangi, A.M. ; Demir, A.Y. ; Wielders, J.P. ; Mens, P.F. ; Verweij, J.J. ; Cox, S.E. ; Prentice, A.M. ; Brouwer, I.D. ; Savelkoul, H.F. ; Andang'o, P.E. ; Verhoef, H. ;
Haptoglobin, alpha-thalassaemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase polymorphisms and risk of abnormal transcranial Doppler among patients with sickle cell anaemia in Tanzania.
Cox, S.E. ; Makani, J. ; Soka, D. ; L'esperence, V.S. ; Kija, E. ; Dominguez-Salas, P. ; Newton, C.R. ; Birch, A.A. ; Prentice, A.M. ; Kirkham, F.J. ;
Br J Haematol
Expression of the Iron Hormone Hepcidin Distinguishes Different Types of Anemia in African Children
Pasricha, S.-R.; Atkinson, S.H.; Armitage, A.E.; Khandwala, S.; Veenemans, J.; Cox, S.E.; Eddowes, L.A.; Hayes, T.; Doherty, C.P.; Demir, A.Y.; Tijhaar, E.; Verhoef, H.; Prentice, A.M.; Drakesmith, H.
Science Translational Medicine
Randomised controlled trial of weekly chloroquine to re-establish normal erythron iron flux and haemoglobin recovery in postmalarial anaemia.
Cox, S.E. ; Nweneka, C.V. ; Doherty, C.P. ; Fulford, A.J. ; Moore, S.E. ; Prentice, A.M. ;
BMJ Open
Hepcidin is the major predictor of erythrocyte iron incorporation in anemic African children.
Prentice, A.M.; Doherty, C.P.; Abrams, S.A.; Cox, S.E.; Atkinson, S.H.; Verhoef, H.; Armitage, A.E.; Drakesmith, H.;
Genetics of fetal hemoglobin in Tanzanian and British patients with sickle cell anemia.
Makani, J. ; Menzel, S. ; Nkya, S. ; Cox, S.E. ; Drasar, E. ; Soka, D. ; Komba, A.N. ; Mgaya, J. ; Rooks, H. ; Vasavda, N. ; Fegan, G. ; Newton, C.R. ; Farrall, M. ; Thein, S.L. ;
Nutritional status, hospitalization and mortality among patients with sickle cell anemia in Tanzania.
Cox, S.E. ; Makani, J. ; Fulford, A.J. ; Komba, A.N. ; Soka, D. ; Williams, T.N. ; Newton, C.R. ; Marsh, K. ; Prentice, A.M. ;
Global arginine bioavailability in Tanzanian sickle cell anaemia patients at steady-state: a nested case control study of deaths versus survivors.
Cox, S.E. ; Makani, J. ; Komba, A.N. ; Soka, D. ; Newton, C.R. ; Kirkham, F.J. ; Prentice, A.M. ;
Br J Haematol
See all Dr Sharon Cox's Publications