My interests are in designing effective and cost-effective control programmes against infectious diseases. This entails a mixture of mathematical models, statistical and economic analysis, and sociological studies (trying to understand how we mix, so that we can model the spread of diseases better). The emphasis is placed on the application of these methods to real-world problems to enable decision-makers to optimise the design of public-health control programmes. I have published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in this field (confusingly my initials are WJ Edmunds!) and I have acted as an advisor on national and international committees on many occasions on topics ranging from HPV vaccination to pandemic influenza.
Before joining the School I was the Head of the Modelling and Economics Unit at the HPA (now called Public Health England), and I still work with colleagues in PHE very closesly on issues related to the UK vaccination programme and influenza.
I teach on modelling the transmission dynamics and control of infectious diseases, including on the LSHTM Infectious Disease Modelling summer short course and MSc Module with Emilia Vynnycky and Richard White.
My main research interests involve the development and application of mathematical models to help address public health decisions. Examples include the real-time analysis and modelling of the ebola crisis in West Africa; the 2009 swine flu pandemic; analysis of HPV vaccination policy in the UK; and modelling the impact of chlamydia screening.
I am particularly interested in helping to develop better mathematical models of the spread of close-contact infections (like measles, influenza, and pneumococcal disease) through the collection and analysis of data on human contact patterns.
During the 2009 flu pandemic I set up an internet-based influenza monitoring system. This allowed us to track the evolution of the epidemic, and showed how individuals' behaviours altered over time. The system has been extended and again proved useful for monitoring the spread of seasonal flu. For further details see the flusurvey site.